Here are some facts about the project:
- The Sharing Gardens was begun in 2009 (we are now entering our seventh season).
- We are 100% non-commercial and rely entirely on donations and volunteer labor for the success of the project.
- We save 85% - 90% of our own seed which we share freely at seed swaps and to local gardeners. Seed-saving is one of those skills that is a dying practice but one that we hope to keep alive and teach others how to do.
- We grow all our own 'starts' from seed. Each year we give away literally hundreds of these 'starts' to other local sharing-type gardens and non-commercial gardeners. This amounts to over 2/3 of the starts we grow.
- All the vegetables we grow are shared freely with volunteers and local food charities. In 2012 (the last year we kept records) we shared over 6,000 pounds of food and hundreds of heads of lettuce and other greens. Our capacity to grow and share is still expanding. For many of our recipients we provide their only source of organic produce. No one is ever charged money for the food that is grown.
- Our educational website receives over 8,000 visits per month! People come from all over the world seeking simple, clearly illustrated information about growing food without the use of harmful chemicals. We also teach about using local materials such as leaves and grass for soil fertility to begin weaning gardeners away from using commercial products mined and shipped from far away places in unsustainable ways. We are giving new meaning to the idea of growing 'local' food (if you have to ship your soil amendments from half-way around the world, just how local and sustainable is it?)
- We provide mentorship to other people starting up sharing-type community gardens where they live.
- We have begun forming partnerships with the local County Health Dept. and Health Clinic to assist them in delivering a class on changing life-style habits (including food choices) to increase health and well-being in the obese and pre-diabetic.
- Since 2013, when we began hosting Oregon State University students "service learning" projects we have had at least 17 groups of 4-6 students each spend four-hours learning about organic farming, experiencing first-hand the spirit of generosity.
- Nine months out of the year we have volunteer sessions 1-3 times a week. Our "Share-Givers" learn about gardening, form new friendships and experience the feeling of sanctuary that the gardens provide.
|Kids in the carrot patch.|
- Your name and where you live
- Your title and name of organization you represent (if relevant). Letters on letter-head are particularly persuasive.
- Email is fine, or a Word-doc or PDF. Send to our email address
- Send ASAP, by Friday May 15, 2015 at the latest (we have only one chance to make our case).
P.S.The Sharing Gardens is already a legal non-profit organization and can receive tax-deductible donations. This court case will simply determine if we must pay annual property-tax.