The farmhouse at GRuB may be closed to the public, but our hearts are open and our hands are ever getting GRuBby to plant the seeds of health and community... in creative and safe ways!
Just two weeks ago, we were poised to start the spring with the GroundED youth program, school field trips, fundraising events, and myriad hands-on programs for veterans, tribal educators, and the general public. That’s all been modified or postponed. As the virus crisis has unfolded and old systems around us have disintegrated, we GRuBbers, too, have felt loss and chaos. But we’ve also set to work on new opportunities, new relationships, and new solutions.
Every day we ask ourselves—What will have the greatest impact for the community during this time? What programs can we still do safely? What vital resources do we have on hand, and how can we get them to people who need them most?
Above all, how do we respond to this crisis from abundance, hope, and love? Here’s what we’ve dreamed up... and are determined to make happen.
What if, during this time, everyone had a growing space where they live? Then, people isolated at home would be able to spend time outside, grow their own vegetables, and save money on groceries. Good news! We’ve decided to amp up our Victory Garden Project from 20 to 50 households this spring. Each gardener will receive their own set of backyard raised beds, along with seeds, seedlings, and coaching. We’re ready to build just as soon as the stay-at-home order lifts!
What if, during this time, people had open access to seeds? Then, seeds would be a basic human right, rather than a commodity. Good news! We’re distributing thousands of seed packets through our Community Seed Shed outside our farm at 2016 Elliott Ave NW. Available for free to anyone who needs them (and donations gratefully accepted, if you can afford it!).
What if, during this time, we all knew how to safely and sustainably forage, gather, and use the plants in our yards and neighborhoods? Then, anyone could gather nutritious and immune boosting plants from their immediate surroundings. Good News! We’ve shifted our Wild Foods & Medicines programs to an online format, and our first class will be 3/27: Grow your own Herbal Support for the COVID-19 outbreak. Available for free to anyone who needs it; $15-30 sliding scale for others. See more helpful information in this piece “Herbal Support during the Coronavirus Outbreak.”
What if, during this time, your neighborhood had its own farm? Then, even during stay-at-home, you could safely walk to get fresh, healthy food. Good news! We’ve begun spring farm work on our main GRuB farm. You can order a community supported agriculture share now, so that you have fresh veggies by early summer which you can pick up at a safe distance, ready to go. Alternatively, you can pay to donate a share for someone else.
What if, during this time, no food went to waste? Then, nutritious food would get to those who need it most, while honoring the labor of farmers and gifts of the land. Good news! We’ve begun a weekly harvest of early spring vegetables which, through a partnership with the Olympia chapter of Food Not Bombs, are incorporated into warm meals for those most vulnerable in the community.
What if, during this time, teenagers had a place where they could go every day for good work? Then, they would be part of a loving community, have an opportunity to make a difference and bring resources home to their families. Good news! A crew of teens will begin as farm assistants and youth farm coordinators as soon as it is safe to go out again. Although our GroundED program is on hold to prevent virus spread, we can instead safely engage a small group of returning youth in leadership roles outside on the farm where they can maintain safe physical distance, wear gloves, closely follow our stringent community health protocol.
What if, during this time, we each had positive and tangible ways to make a difference for the common good? Then, we wouldn’t be sitting at home feeling helpless. Good news! You can join us by creating a small team of 3-4 people to help with garden builds and fundraising for our Victory Garden Project. We’ve converted our annual spring fundraising garden-build-a-thon event, May There Be Gardens, into a rolling fundraiser extravaganza with garden builds starting just as soon as people can safely congregate! Please reach out to your friends, faith community, business, or organization, and gather your GRuB garden-building team today! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to mobilize a team.
Feeling as inspired as we are? At GRuB we’re choosing to adapt and lead, locally and right now, to create our vision for healthy food, people, and community. We could sure use your direct support for these emerging programs … and to replace lost revenue from coronavirus cancelations. Please make a donation, buy a Food Investment Garden, purchase a CSA share, donate food for someone who needs it, or attend an online program today.
Yours in community,