So basically our fundamental idea is more people, growing more food in more places and the way we aim to achieve that is through facilitating community members or small businesses or whoever comes to us really with an interesting growing food and helping them overcome the barriers that stand between them and their dream. So help them get access to the land help them overcome the bureaucratic red tape and create something that’s going to be successful.
And this is our first ever Food Garden that we made. It kind of a test of our model back in 2014 and it’s a very urban site as you can see. The benefits here of community connection and food literacy probably far outweigh the actual food production happening on this site. But the barriers in the principles of the model are the same no matter what site you’re on no matter what scale of gardening you’re doing or farming. So we kind of identified certain barriers, and we’re working to overcome them in three major areas. The first one is in empower, so this is really in working with the community and giving them the resources and tools and connections that they need to be able to make their projects happen.
And the first stage of that was creating a map on our website. This is an open-source map that anyone can add a site to it. They don’t have to own the site. They just need to have seen it and identified it as a potential space for food growing. And once the sites mapped other people can follow it. So through this map you can create a network of people who are interested in growing food in one area and that little core community or core group is pushing to make something happen is really the first thing that you need is your community group pushing to start a project. And you can see that we’re missing a few, we need some more points down in this area.
To go along with the map we also created a toolkit on our website. So this is a how to guide of starting a food growing project and it really covers off all the things you’re going to need to think about so you know the insurance, the funding, the coming to an agreement with a landowner getting a lease or a memorandum of understanding. All of the boring stuff that can seem quite intimidating and overwhelming to a group that’s never done it before. And in addition to that, a toolkit online words can only go so far. So there’s also the staff of three thousand acres and our volunteers have been through this process a number of times and although the barriers might be different each time we’re used to overcoming them, we’re we used to looking for solutions, and the second thing is that we have connections and knowledge in the community.