What a season this has been so far! We can’t even begin to stress how thankful we are for our successes to date. It truly is an honor to be a part of such a community. Our gracious garden hosts are some of the kindest souls you will ever meet. It is our pleasure to have them in our program. Without their faith in us and the community, none of what we do would be possible.
It is only May, but we are already starting to see the fruits of our labor and it is so invigorating. A few of our gardens have begun to sprout; especially the ones with mixes of kale, lettuce and chard. Some of our pea stalks are as tall as six-inches, and some even taller! As we went around on Saturday and Sunday to tend to a few gardens, I could not help but to be overjoyed. With each additional seed we planted, whether it was squash, okra, or zucchini, it became apparent just how much food we could possibly provide. Though it may not seem like much now, these small victories for us will soon become food for those less fortunate than ourselves. However, with new gardens coming soon and others to still be planted, the hard work is far from over.
With a good amount of our more cold tolerant crops planted, we now look forward to adding in our seedlings. We had hoped to get them in a week or so earlier but with this crazy weather we decided to hold off. This week should be our first adding in our tomatoes. We have hundreds of seedlings sitting in a greenhouse, and a few thousand square feet of garden waiting to be planted, so we are going to need all hands on deck. We look forward to seeing you in the gardens soon. Have a Jovial day!
My name is Mike Geddes, and I was recently made Garden Manager here at Jovial Concepts. As the newest member of the team, I am continually blown away by what we are able to do with the help of the community. With my background in community gardening, I have seen many a garden fail because of lack of community support and engagement. However, in my short time here I have been deeply encouraged by the amount of support we continually receive.
Our entire model is based around developing community. All our land is donated by the community. We are very fortunate to have garden hosts who are kind enough to allow us to grow food for needy populations on their property. Each weekend they allow us to turn their front lawns and backyards into outdoor classrooms where we specialize in hands-on learning. A lot of them come out and join in to support the volunteers, either with shovels or snacks.
Our plants come as a result of our partnership with the community. We share a greenhouse with Edgewater Elementary, where we currently have thousands of seedlings just waiting to be transplanted. Here we facilitate garden education classes for the youth, which will help us to nurture the next generation of urban gardeners and farmers.
Even all of our labor comes from within the community. People of all ages come out to join us in the gardens. From 10 year olds who need community service hours to earn their black belt, to stay-at-home moms itching to get their hands dirty, we have seen it all. While gathering such consistent support every weekend is a feat in itself, the true magic of the day happens as you watch these strangers forge lasting and impactful relationships all while dedicating their free time to help those less fortunate than themselves.
Most important, our food goes right back into the community to help those who need it the most. Our goal is to once again feed over 250 food insecure families in the region of Metro Denver.
We are excited to announce that we have expanded our gardens to include many families on our waitlist and have a goal to double our produce donation in 2015 to 5,000lbs!
While we believe this to be a more than feasible task, we can’t possibly succeed without your help.
If you are interested in volunteering or getting involved please email [email protected]