Sep 9, 2016

More than a Ton!

 Hello Jovial Garden Supporters,

We haveharvested OVER ONE TON of produce and we're not even pulling out many tomatoe or winter squash yet!! This year is certainly our biggest harvest, ever. Why does it matter? In the words of Lisa Smith (name changed for privacy), it matters a lot. As a Jovial Garden host in Edgewater for over 2 years, Lisa enjoyed having fresh produce at her finger tips and canning or freezing it for the winter. They weren't well off, but they didn't worry about feeding their 16 year old daughter or 13 year old son.

In Feburary, they sold their Edgewater home and moved to New Mexico. The 6 months after they moved brought Lisa to a solid realization, without a program like Jovial Gardens that offered clean, accessible food, her family's health was decling. Her husband who already suffered from immune system issues was the most sensitive to processed foods. With limited transportation, money, and grocery stores, she looked for every possible solution.

In June she reached out to discuss a satelitte Jovial Garden neighborhood in her community in Sante Fe. Her words were this, "My family participated in the Jovial Gardens Edgewater program for two seasons, and we were so happy that we were able to! Now that we are here, we are having a tough time affording the organic produce. I am so inspired by what Jovial Gardens is doing in that area. There is a small plot in the apartment building for a community garden, and other families like ours that would benefit from having affordable organic food. I really appreciate what you did for our family, and we would love to learn more about how we can help out!"

We hope to help Lisa's family build a garden Spring 2016 and have our first out of state gardens!.

Your donations and support are what have allowed us to help families like Lisa's and to continue to expand our services into new areas. We have over 50 gardens and continue to grow each year. Now is the time to reach out and join a Jovial Garden neighborhood or make a donation to help us continue to offer much needed services to Colorado families.

Sept. 21st is a 30% matching day on Global Giving, we ask that everyone renew their support by making a donation AFTER 10am mountain time, but as close to 10am as possible, to ensure your donation is matched. Thank you again for your ongoing support and making stories like Lisa's possible.

Jul 19, 2016

Weeds to Healthy Riches

Building the Garden
Building the Garden

Hi Jovial Garden Supporters,

I'd like to update you about our work at Eagleton Elementary.

There are 441 students at Eagleton Elementary school. These are bright, passionate, smart, and really happy kids that just happen to be growing up in a low income neighborhood and food desert. Their staple meals are sodium and sugar rich cafeteria food and sodium heavy canned meals from the food bank. Many are growing up with a single parent who doesn't have time to cook or perhaps never learned how. Our students often leave home without breakfast and go to bed without a dinner.

Ron and Sarah (2 local community members) wanted better for these students. They wanted to break the statistic that says these students have a 41% higher chance of developing type 2 diabetes in their lifetime due to poor dietary choices. They rallied the support of Jovial Concepts, Feeding Many, the principal, a wonderful team of teachers, and other community member to give the school garden the TLC it needed!

We have been coming out 3 days a week, breaking our backs and sweating to move in the cinderblock for safe and long lasting beds, planting, watering, putting in irrigation, and weeding.

It took us 5 volunteer days to create 10 beautiful small beds, an herb bed, and 2 large melon beds for an outdoor learning lab for students. The cinderblock capstones arrived last week and students have been painting these to bring some extra color and life to their flourishing garden.

Your donations have been used to create sustainability for this garden: long lasting cinderblock beds, irrigation, and master gardener trainings for teachers and community members.

Joival started an after school club that averages 12 kids twice per week and  extended through summer. Teachers got excited and adopted beds for each grade level at the school (PK-5). The Jovial Garden afterschool club adopted the other 3 and the melon beds.

We have already harvested 7 lbs of cabbage and lettuce that has gone home with students. We hope to continue the momentum into the new school year with plans for a garden to cafeteria program and youth run farmer's market. Our harvest this year will include, honey dew melons, corn, green beans, tomatoes, carrots, cabbage, bell peppers, onions, and more.

With summer school ending, we will need extra hands in the garden until mid-august when the kids return. Join us on any Sat. from 9-11a,.

Students Help Clear Paths
Students Help Clear Paths
Planting Tomatoes
Planting Tomatoes
Garden Club Planting
Garden Club Planting
Watering
Watering
Decorating the Capstones
Decorating the Capstones
Jun 28, 2016

10 Long Years

Happy Harvest,

 

This year, Jovial Gardens launched a new neighborhood team in Arvada and has helped 6 schools launch seed-to-table programs or garden clubs. On our journey, we have been honored to meet Jane and John (names changeds for privacy). John worked with agricultural giant Conagra and his dad brought him up farming. John loves the outdoors, but mostly he loves gardening.

John kept up a beautiful garden for Jane, he taught his kids to grow their food and how to make a salad out of their backyard. Jane told us how they had the prittiest yard around and how talented her husband was, but then age caught up with him and gardening was out of the question. John is 86 years old and Jane isn't far behind. Then John got teary eyed and Jane took my hand, they said thank you so many times.

It had been 10 long years since there had been a garden in their yard,  Jane told me how happy John is everytime he walks outside and sees the little seedlings. They love watering the garden together and seein the neighborhood kids come over and dig and eat from their soil.

"This has just been a wonderful opportunity" Jane squealed. John is teaching gardening to the youth, Jane helps water, and the younger folk help care for the garden. The Jovial team couldn't be happier to have brought gardening back to Jane and John's life with our programming.

We couldn't have made John's dream come true without your support and donations. Thank you sincerely, and we hope you will continue to support Jovial as she continues to expand and build community.

 
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