In March 2014, we were excited to be one of the first garden installations in the Sierra Gardens project. Sierra Gardens is a program of Sierra Harvest. Sierra Harvest’s mission is to educate, inspire, and connect Nevada County families to fresh, local, seasonal food. We have wanted a Friendship garden for many years but we all personally lacked the knowledge to lead the charge. We also never had the right kind of space to entertain such an endeavor. But when Sierra Harvest came along with this amazing opportunity we knew the time to make it happen was here. Thanks to Ken and Kay Baker for making land available, and to the Soroptimist International of the Sierra Foothills and Nevada City for financial support, our dream is now a reality.
Leo Chapman, director of the Sierra Gardens project will serve as our garden mentor for two years. They will also provide seeds and starts as well as cooking classes so we know more about how to use the food we grow. We’ve already harvested lettuce, onion, turnips, chard, arugula, cilantro, eggplant, squash, basil, and many other wonderful fresh produce. We have been incorporating fresh food into our snack program as well as use the garden as a teaching tool for the girls. We believe, as does Sierra Harvest that promoting fresh, local seasonal foods, by getting our kids in touch with the land and understanding where our food comes from, will plant the seeds of change necessary to reverse so many of the health problems that plague our children. We are introducing more nutrition education, cooking classes, and hands-on gardening experience than ever before. We would also like to thank Nevada County for funding through the Community Initiative Funding grant for this first year of nutritional enhancement and are grateful for an additional grant from General Mills to bolster this effort in 2014/2015.