For many in Central Ohio, the holiday season is a time of cheerful celebration over mouth-watering wholesome meals. At Franklinton Gardens, our holiday harvest is nearly complete, and our produce cooler is abundantly stocked with fruits and vegetables that we will share with our neighbors who cannot afford to prepare the delightful seasonal dishes that so many of us look forward to each year.
Franklinton Gardens supports the Franklinton neighborhood by growing and sharing healthy food and by working to beautify a neighborhood rife with poverty and urban decay. We are a small grassroots organization that has grown from a single community garden, to a productive 1.5-acre urban farm in just 6 years.
Franklinton Gardens has had a great year. Below are some exciting highlights from 2013:
- Extended growing season from 5 to 12 months by building Columbus’ first high tunnel.
- Grew and distributed 5,000 pounds of food to families and after-school youth programs.
- Developed gardens-based youth education programming with Gladden Community House.
- Partnered with 25 organizations to help ameliorate deficiencies in healthy food access.
- Sold produce to 5 restaurants and grocery stores, and developed 2 Food Stamp-friendly markets.
- Engaged with over 200 volunteers for over 1200 volunteer hours on our farm.
- Awarded Franklin Park Conservatory’s Neighborhood Improvement Project of the Year
Were among 6 finalists in the national Gardens for Good social media grant campaign.
2014 looks to be an even more fortuitous year for Franklinton Gardens! We believe the bounty of agriculture should be a shared asset in every community. Urban agriculture reduces economic disparity by increasing access to healthy food, by creating economic opportunities, and by creating beauty in blighted spaces. In 2014 we plan to:
- Provide seasonal community meals to share with our neighbors.
- Build 2 more high tunnels to expand our ability to grow more food year-round.
- Serve as a job-training site in construction, landscape, and agriculture.
- Build reliable eco-friendly irrigation systems for all sites.
- Cultivate and distribute edible and ornamental plants to beautify the Franklinton neighborhood
- Renovate 2 neglected buildings to serve as educational spaces and a demonstration kitchen
Please help us raise $8000 this holiday season to be part of the 2014 efforts to transform our neighborhood from a blighted inner-city food desert, into a revitalized inner-city food oasis. Every contribution helps, be it $5, $50, or $500! Please click here to mail your gift using a check, click here to give safely and securely online, or click here if you would like to contribute an in-kind donation. Thanks so much for your support this holiday season!
Nicholas Stanich, Executive Director