FUHN Community Garden
Clermont, FL
“I taught a Saturday gardening class to some local children for 7 or 8 weeks. Most were on free or reduced lunch with this free class being the only opportunity to visit a farm. The goal was to plan, build and plant a garden and harvest some early crops before they completed it. The first Saturday, I brought in some veggies from home to have a quicks discussion on them. These boisterous kids were going to identify and learn some fun facts about their vegetable. The eggplant, zucchini and okra were completely unknow to them. They were used to restaurant vegetables or canned vegetables; all their families could afford. I was in disbelief. I was ashamed. During our weeks together, they learned to love the vegetables they sampled. Young hands in the soil was calming them down and they were excited to see what was next and went home with ideas for healthy meals made safely and how to grow in less than ideal areas.” Florida Urban Homesteading Nonprofit (FUHN) has a wide audience in Central Florida. We are just under three years old. We started out as a resource to our neighbors for all things agricultural and to use our numbers to influence positive agricultural change in our local and state governments. Our organization is truly volunteer only, with virtually no overhead. Every year we feed hungry families and hope that the next year instead of instant mashed potatoes that we can deliver fresh organic vegetables to them. families and the hungry. We organize educational opportunities including internships, free lectures and classes, video tutorial learning series demonstrations on gardening and raising fresh quality meats. We are inclusive and work together with everyone and we provided a safe area for our disabled neighbors, children, seniors and veterans. Everyone is welcome! If we won this grant, we could race past the financial hurdle keeping us from a functioning 35,000 square foot FUHN Community Garden to provide fresh produce and food education even more members of our community, including low income families and the food banks that primarily offer process foods. We have the space ready and we have some materials, but most of all we have volunteers who are ready to make this happen. We intend to provide even more opportunities to feed our hungry, teach children to raise and harvest healthy organic foods, teach and demonstrate hands on gardening skills and alternative growing methods. This garden would be able to provide much needed organic produce to the area. Instead of just talking about methods of natural fertilization and pest control, people practice it’s use here and provide children the availability of fruits and vegetables only arm’s length away instead of choosing cheaper, less nutritious foods. We have a willing community ready but don’t have the financial resources to proceed. We already know that fresh produce is good for you and organic is best for healthy bodies, but the act of gardening provides other benefits including lower stress, socialization, increased brain health and exercise among others. A community bonds over common goals and shared projects which is good for everyone. Your funds would support and allow us to: • Build worm bins and composting to promote organic gardening • Purchase of a small greenhouse • Installing irrigation and wildlife control • Increase the availability of nutrition and culinary classes • Purchase organic seeds, plants and fruit bushes • Build raised beds suitable for Florida flood zones • Purchase organic growing medium to insure our plants begin their growth with the proper nutrition. • Provide secondary means of water and reduce waste by installing a water catchment system • Purchase hives to naturally increase plant pollination • Start a chain reaction leading to more organic gardens in other locations
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