Oct 6, 2015

Bolstering Our Presence In The Community

Fresh Produce For All
Fresh Produce For All

Hi! Today, I would like to take the time out to introduce you to one of our newest team members, "Sara."(name changed for confidentiality) Sara is a freshman at Denver University where she is a member of the Environmental Studies Living Learning Community. She hopes to use her background in Biochemistry combined with her volunteer service with us, in order to prepare herself for a position in Peace Corps, as it is her dream job. The Living Learning Communities at DU are groups of students who upon enrollment agree to live together, take classes together, and even participate in community service together. We are very gracious to be partnered with them, as they have provided us with three extremely enthusiastic interns including "Sara", whom we have empowered to develop a community composting initiative with our help.

Partnerships such as these are vital to sustaining a community gardening initiative. With limited staff, it can be quite challenging logistically to manage close to 40 gardens. However, with continued backing from our gracious garden hosts, the outlying communities, and local institutions/organizations we have made it work quite well. For this garden season alone, we have provided over 4300 pounds of food for local food banks: 2500 pounds of which was fresh produce grown at our own gardens and the rest from various community partners.

None of this would be possible without all of the support we have managed to garner over the course of the season. We have had hundreds of volunteers come out since the beginning of the season. Just this past week, we had over 50 visitors to our gardens! We facilitated Service Days for both Regis University and DISH network over the weekend. Earlier in the week, we were visited by a group of students from an alternative high school for homeless youth. Most of them had never been to a farm or garden, nor had the experience of picking their own food. It was simply enthrallng to watch as students who were proudly proclaiming their distaste for tomatoes at the beginning of the day, were clamoring about how flavorful our Yellow Pear Cherry Heirloom Tomatoes were by the end of the day. In fact, their teacher was so pleased with the experience that we have allowed them to take care of our newest beds in order to provide a longer term service learning opportunity for his youth.

As encouraged as we are by this progress, we know our work is truly never over. There are already gardens waiting to be added to fold for next season, and we will need your help to make sure we can accomodate them

If you are interested in volunteering or getting involved please email info@jovialconcepts.org or call 303-578-2569

Thank you for your support of Jovial Gardens!

Community Partners
Community Partners
Aug 17, 2015

Final Project Report For Jovial Futures

I want to start off firstly by saying: thank you. The support you have given Jovial Futures has been invaluable and has allowed us to do many amazing things for this community.

Your donations have funded educational trips to the museum, program supplies, a ropes course day and mentor activities.  You have allowed us to enrich the lives of the students who have been involved in our program over the past year and we are incredibly grateful for the support.

Our non- profit, Jovial Concepts, serves the Edgewater community and we have decided we need to readjust our focus, so as to continue to ensure maximum impact.

This refocus has resulted in our decision to not continue with the Jovial Futures program.

Working with the students has been the highlight of this program and we will miss being a part of their lives on a weekly basis.

Jovial Concepts will continue with our greenhouse and seed to table program. This program focuses on sustainability, healthy living and providing access to high quality food.

Jovial Futures has had some amazing accomplishments over the past year. We have worked with over 30 students and helped them to find their spark. We have learned a lot, and had tons of fun together.  We feel that our students have confidence and positivity making them more prepared for the years to come.

Thank you so much for your support and we wish the students all the best in the upcoming school year.

Links:

Jul 7, 2015

A Jovial July

People wait all year for the 4th of July. The fireworks exploding in the air, and the grilling food that you can smell from blocks away, combine to create one of the most memorable days of the year. While most of them are unforgettable, this one will always be special. Despite the holiday, the Jovial staff was back in the gardens tending to our plots. It was a Jovial family affair, complete with volunteers, girlfriends, classmates, and even a mom.

While we all can appreciate a good-time, there is no time to slack off in the midst of such an important growing season. Last year, we were able to produce over 2500 pounds of food with our 5000 square feet of garden space. This year we have doubled the amount of area we are tending to, and hope to be able to triple the amount of production. Ambitious goals, but we believe they are more than reachable. Now in our second season, there is much that we have learned and improved upon. We have already seen some bountiful harvests of lettuce, radishes, bok choy, and snap peas. Even some mustard greens and mountain spinach have been plucked. But we should really start building towards our goals when our harvests of squash, and tomatoes start to come around.

Strategic alliances have helped to truly round out our program. Beneficial relationships with volunteer groups such as Project Helping, and One Brick have allowed us to strengthen our volunteer base. That combined with empowering returning volunteers with leadership roles, allows us to allocate our resources more efficiently and stay on top of the task at hand: managing nearly forty community gardens and distributing the resulting produce to those who need it most.

In the fall, we plan to add some interns from local colleges to bolster our program. This will not only allow us to groom the next generation of innovative, urban farmers, but it also provides us with our own on-campus spokespeople. How awesome is that? 

As encouraged as we are by this progress, we know our work is truly never over. There are already gardens waiting to be added to fold for next season, and we will need your help to make sure we can accomodate them

If you are interested in volunteering or getting involved please email info@jovialconcepts.org or call 303-578-2569

Thank you for your support of Jovial Gardens!

 
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