Give Healthy Food to 462 Colorado Families in Need

by Jovial Concepts
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Give Healthy Food to 462 Colorado Families in Need
Give Healthy Food to 462 Colorado Families in Need
Give Healthy Food to 462 Colorado Families in Need
Give Healthy Food to 462 Colorado Families in Need
Give Healthy Food to 462 Colorado Families in Need
Give Healthy Food to 462 Colorado Families in Need
Give Healthy Food to 462 Colorado Families in Need
Give Healthy Food to 462 Colorado Families in Need
Give Healthy Food to 462 Colorado Families in Need
Give Healthy Food to 462 Colorado Families in Need
Give Healthy Food to 462 Colorado Families in Need
Give Healthy Food to 462 Colorado Families in Need
Give Healthy Food to 462 Colorado Families in Need
Give Healthy Food to 462 Colorado Families in Need
Give Healthy Food to 462 Colorado Families in Need
Give Healthy Food to 462 Colorado Families in Need
Give Healthy Food to 462 Colorado Families in Need
Give Healthy Food to 462 Colorado Families in Need
Give Healthy Food to 462 Colorado Families in Need
Give Healthy Food to 462 Colorado Families in Need
Give Healthy Food to 462 Colorado Families in Need
Give Healthy Food to 462 Colorado Families in Need
Give Healthy Food to 462 Colorado Families in Need
Give Healthy Food to 462 Colorado Families in Need
Give Healthy Food to 462 Colorado Families in Need
Give Healthy Food to 462 Colorado Families in Need
Give Healthy Food to 462 Colorado Families in Need
Give Healthy Food to 462 Colorado Families in Need
Give Healthy Food to 462 Colorado Families in Need
Give Healthy Food to 462 Colorado Families in Need
Give Healthy Food to 462 Colorado Families in Need
Give Healthy Food to 462 Colorado Families in Need
Give Healthy Food to 462 Colorado Families in Need
Give Healthy Food to 462 Colorado Families in Need
Give Healthy Food to 462 Colorado Families in Need
Give Healthy Food to 462 Colorado Families in Need
Give Healthy Food to 462 Colorado Families in Need
Give Healthy Food to 462 Colorado Families in Need
Give Healthy Food to 462 Colorado Families in Need

Thanks to your support, this spring season has been full of building new connections, renovating old garden beds that had previously become sueper weedy, and planting new gardens. This spring, we really focused our efforts on rebuilding connections with schools partners and renovating old garden beds.Snapshots from our spring have been attached below.

If you were in the region this past month, you might remember the surprise snowstorm where temperatures dropped from 80F° to ~33°F with wet snowy precipitation in the span of 24 hours! Our garden team and garden hosts scrambled to cover our tender warm season plants (like tomatoes) to protect them from the snow....And after all was said and done, I think we might have lost one tomato from the whole crop that had been planted in the weeks before! I definitely consider that a success.

A few weeks after this surprise snow day, Paige (a garden manager with Jovial Concepts) and I found ourselves renovating three garden beds at a local elementary school in Denver (pictures below). We taught the kids about planting, broadforking, renovating soil; we looked at worms and spiders in the soil, and overall had a lot of laughs. It was a blast to have the opportunity to bring a variety of healthy vegetable plants to a space which had been overgrown with weeds all spring. In the following days, we repaired the deteriorating irrigation system for these beds which will make managing the garden over summer much easier. We will be maintaining these gardens throughout summer break so that the class can come back to a lush vegetable garden ready to be harvested in the fall. This summer, produce from these gardens will be donated to local hunger relief organizations.

This is one of many connections that we have rebuilt this year and I can say that our team is very excited to continue developing partnerships and sharing the bounty of gardening knowledge and building new organic gardens in the community.

To describe a few of the images below, the picture titled 'renovating garden beds' is a snapshot from a recovery center where an incredible team partner and Jovial have been rebuilding a huge garden plot - this picture was taken in early spring but the space is now full of tomatoes, squash, tomatoes, pepper, cabbage, onion, garlic....and we even renovated a side area to plant squash and watermlon!

This is going to be a bountiful year of harvesting thanks to your support.

With warmth and kind regards, happy gardening this year!
- John

renovated garden beds
renovated garden beds
weedy landscape
weedy landscape
garden planting
garden planting
plant sale/giveaway
plant sale/giveaway
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leafy leaves
leafy leaves

Our warm weather this fall provided Jovial Concepts with a wonderful opportunity to more thoroughly explore the end of season harvest with volunteers and friends from Revel, Laradon, and Activity Options. We discussed the process of putting the gardens to rest for the season with a hands-on activity where we talked about plants’ life cycle and shared the importance of seed saving with volunteers. This was followed by the planting of cover crops, and winter crops which will be ready for harvest in the spring. The warm weather allowed us to make multiple days out of this broad lesson and incorporate a secondary project, detailed in the next paragraph, as opposed to quickly wrapping up after an early fall snow which would have provided a definite end-cap for the season.

This past quarter, Jovial Concepts undertook a campaign to inform our community about the benefits of not raking up fallen tree leaves. Leaf litter is home to many important insects in our ecosystem, and these insects provide our bird population with plenty of food. Allowing your leaves to decompose also naturally provides vital nutrients to the soil, improving the health of your lawn and garden landscape. It also reduces the carbon impact associated with transporting leaves and landfills.

In addition to speaking with our community, we provided a location where leaves could be dropped off and reused; with the help of our volunteers, we used these donated leaves to cover our Jovial Garden beds this past fall. In total through canvassing, we reached 250 neighbors, many of whom were excited to learn about the benefits of leaving their leaves on the ground and not bagging them. By the end of our campaign, we had received over 90 bags of tree leaves and calculated that this project saved over 1200lbs of leaves from being sent to landfills. All the while, this material provided an excellent opportunity to connect our community and more efficiently use our resources.

Our hope is to encourage our community to become more sustainable, and make real change in a small amount of time. We do this through education and by connecting our community and establishing more sustainable practices. We want our actions to become established practices in our community, and this is at the center of everything Jovial Concepts does. From our lessons about seed saving with volunteers, to garden and food systems development, to community engagement, we want to create healthier, more robust, and better connected communities. We have many plans for 2022, and many opportunities to do just this.

Happy 2022 everyone!

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Revel In Life at Jovial Gardens this Summer
Revel In Life at Jovial Gardens this Summer

This report is for the third quarter for the Jovial Gardens Initiative with Jovial Concepts.

Dear Friends,

The number of community members we are able to serve continues to grow with your support. We have established gardens in Barnum, Edgewater, North and South Lakewood, and Wheat Ridge, and our Gardening with Disabilities program has continued to strengthen its partnerships with Revel, Laradon, and Activity Options. Combined, so far in this 3rd quarter, our harvest from the Jovial Gardens has totaled 2736 lbs. Thanks to your support, our community based gardening initiative was able to donate literally over a ton of fresh produce to local community members in need.

I want to share one experience this fall that has really stuck with me. On multiple weekends this fall, we had a young volunteer come out to help harvest and tend some of the gardens with us. We had the opportunity to introduce this volunteer to the world of fresh vine ripened tomatoes and garden grown produce. This was their first time trying a tomato from the vine and there was some uncertainty about the entire process and about the bugs which flit about the garden. During our outings, we observed and discussed bees and pollinators and were able to show them that bees will leave us alone if we leave them alone... and that nothing beats a vine ripened tomato! Our team provides an environment where volunteers and community members can have a hands-on gardening experience at a comfortable pace and with personal guidance. This is an engaging experience that we wish to bring to more residents in the metro area, and to people who may not have had the opportunity to garden in the past. We are able to do this and reach our community in this way and provide such engaging experiences due to your support.

This quarter we had a good deal of fun and incredible participation with our Wednesday and Thursday Gardening with Disabilities groups from Revel, Laradon, and Activity Options. It truly is a blast to work with such a fun group of kind and enthusiastic individuals. In this coming year, we are looking to expand our Gardening with Disabilities program to Mondays and Tuesdays so that we can invite a Public School’s transition group to also garden with us.

I am excited to report that our community connections are growing rapidly. We have developed a Sustainability Committee that includes members of the public and which is focused on supporting community based gardening and conservation. We will soon be canvasing to encourage our community to compost leaves this fall and to raise awareness about using leaves as a great source of organic matter for gardens and landscapes.

With your continued support, we are looking forward to increasing the number of garden beds that we manage next season. We will be constructing a few additional beds this fall and will likely be growing our team next year as we bring on some new neighborhood gardening leaders. We have a wonderful team and despite challenges in these past two years, our connection with the community continues to thrive.

With warmth this fall and winter,
Your Jovial team.

A successful harvest with a young volunteer
A successful harvest with a young volunteer
A volunteer having a great time at the gardens
A volunteer having a great time at the gardens
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Seeding room April 21
Seeding room April 21

GlobalGiving Report June 16, 2021

This report is for the second quarter 2021 for Jovial Concepts Garden Initiative

What a crazy spring it has been! After weeks of delays due to weather, we finally got our season going. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we were able to buy enough lumber to build 20 new beds including the soil. We found that lumber costs were up as much as 75% over last year.

We were able to use one of the practitioners’ rooms at The Co-op at 1st, vacant due to the Covid pandemic, as our seeding room and managed to grow out about 600+ seedlings to install in our gardens as well as sell at our annual plant sale. We were able to nurture our seedlings in the greenhouse. This is our Sloan’s Lake/Edgewater Leader Linda with a Project helping Volunteer in the seeding room and then more mature seedlings in the greenhouse.

The new SolarGem greenhouse is even better than we hoped. We loaded it up with some of the prettiest seedlings you would want to see. Soil and seed starter costs were up more than 10% over last year so again, the continued support of our donors helped us continue our mission despite increased costs. THANK YOU!!!

Our Gardening with Disabilities program has grown, last week we had 25 participants in 2 days. This year they aren’t just planting and harvesting but they have learned how to install drip irrigation and about soil science. The 19 beds at The Co-op at 1st building are almost completely planted out and irrigated. We have been able to replace outdated and inefficient drip irrigation at our building.

We have started to harvest and donate spring herbs and greens. I can’t wait to see how many pounds of food we are able to provide to our neighbors this season!

After months and months of covid delays, we completed the Project Pride Pollinator bed at Edgewater Elementary with a lot of help from Ewing Irrigation and their partners. The students were so thrilled to have their new beds, the teachers were happy with the plants selected and I think it looks great! If you are in the neighborhood, stop by and check it out. It runs down most of the west side of the building. Filled with perennials and a few self-seeding annuals, this bed will be helping Edgewater students learn about the importance of pollinators and our environment for years to come. Thanks to Little Valley Nursery for their assistance in plant selection and their generosity.

Lastly, with the assistance of our Vista Volunteer, Ava, we are cultivating some great group and corporate volunteer connections. Please consider gardening with Jovial Concepts as a great way to get together with friends and co-workers or even family reunion activities. Come and see for yourself how your contributions are building gardens, neighborhoods, and lifelong passions for gardening. We meet each Saturday at our building (10 am until June 26 when we shift to 9am due to weather)

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow” Audrey Hepburn

Edgewater Elementary Pollinlator Bed Install Day
Edgewater Elementary Pollinlator Bed Install Day
Ava, Vista Volunteer irrigating Edgewater Elem
Ava, Vista Volunteer irrigating Edgewater Elem
Ewing and Partners Edgewater Elem
Ewing and Partners Edgewater Elem
New Greenhouse Loaded for the Season!
New Greenhouse Loaded for the Season!
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REVEL IN LIFE and Jovial Volunteers at DUG
REVEL IN LIFE and Jovial Volunteers at DUG

GlobalGiving Report February 16, 2021

This report for the first quarter of 2021 for the Jovial Concepts Garden Initiative

And people think you can’t garden in January and February! 

What an amazing partnership we have begun with REVEL in Life! Here (see pix 1) we are learning how Denver Urban Gardens wants us to sort the seed packets for their Grow A Garden pay what you can program. We will be back there later in February to fill the orders DUG has received for this program. Jovial Concepts/The Co-op at 1st Family Market will be one of DUG’s distribution points for seeds, seedlings,

We don’t have any yields to report for this quarter but look at this!!! (see pix 2)

Our new SolarGem greenhouse – no more panels flying off to Kansas! We have been fortunate with a grant that enabled us to upgrade our greenhouse to this beauty. We can even attach it to another SolarGem as our funding and programs expand even more! There are so many cool features of this system including the hydraulics on the roof vents are made of honey. When the honey gets hot, it expands and the vents open, as it cools, it contracts and the vent closes. It’s a honey of a thing! We will irrigate the greenhouse with mist and drip irrigation as soon as the temps allow.

With your continued support, we have grown our gardens in Wheat Ridge, North Lakewood, and Sloan’s Lake/LoHi. We have graduated 5 hosts, 2 have moved, and expanded into 15 new locations. We are looking for a volunteer for our I/DD Gardening with Disabilities program 3 hours 1 day/week to accommodate our Laradon partnership. If we had 2 volunteers, we could serve our neighbors with special needs that we have recently become aware of that would LOVE to have a Jovial Day in the garden (many don’t have the resources to join programs like REVEL in Life). Jovial is looking for ways to increase our salary budget to eventually make these paid positions. Any suggestions for funding or potential volunteers can be made to Kristina or Di and will be GREATLY appreciated.

We have invested in GrowVeg garden planner subscriptions for this season. (see pix 3) This will aid our Neighborhood Leaders to plan and document their gardens, learn about the varieties they select and therefore share their new knowledge with their hosts, increase production through succession and companion planting, and crop rotation to keep their beds and soil healthy and alive.

We set up a seeding room (see pix 4) in The Co-op at 1st, flats of Calabrese Broccoli, Snowball Cauliflower, and Red Acre Cabbage have all germinated and we are planting more flats this weekend.

We are continuing to work with DPS, Barnum Elementary, and our irrigation consultant to get those beds ready for their teachers and students to get planting this spring. We are still hopeful that we will able to complete the Pride Pollinator Bed project with Edgewater Elementary and Ewing Landscape and Irrigation Supply.

We recently had a great meeting with the Financial Health Institute representative re. Build a Raised Bed digital project and have a tentative date set for building 2 additional beds here at our building. We will be filming this construction and honing our digital presentation so that the MOST inexperienced person can build their own bed and start to grow their own healthy, organically grown food with our digital instructions. Not only will they eat better, but they will also add some physical movement to their daily routine, possibly improve their uptake of the happy hormone, Serotonin, and by using our techniques, they will help to sequester carbon in their soil and reduce their carbon footprint by walking to their supper not shipping it thousands of miles to their grocery store a couple of miles away at best.

Thank you for matching our donations at the end of 2020. Our hosts were excited to learn that their contributions could be doubled through your generosity!!! There is a lot ahead for this next quarter with bed building, seed starting, and solidifying our relationship with corporate volunteer groups to knock out some of the garden bed builds. We are exploring the possibilities of aiding Grow Local Colorado in starting some perennials as they do not have a greenhouse. As you can see, even if things aren’t growing above the surface right now, Jovial Gardens continues to grow and find more ways we can serve our community. Thank you again for your continued support! 

“The love of gardening is a seed that once sown, never dies” Gertrude Jekyll

Jovial SolarGem Greenhouse
Jovial SolarGem Greenhouse
Jovial Immunity Bed built on GrowVeg planner
Jovial Immunity Bed built on GrowVeg planner
Safe Seeding Room Gavin, Di, Paige
Safe Seeding Room Gavin, Di, Paige
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Organization Information

Jovial Concepts

Location: Denver, CO - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @jovialconcepts
Project Leader:
Kristina Welch
Denver, CO United States
$36,376 raised of $80,000 goal
 
662 donations
$43,624 to go
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