What is the mission of Just Garden?
Just Garden builds a just food system and a culture of gardening for all people. We do this by building gardens, educating gardeners and celebrating as a community.
What strategies, programs and approaches does Just Garden employ to achieve the goals of our mission?
Our Garden Build and Education programs work to empower people to grow and eat food from their gardens. This connects people to the earth, gives access to healthy vegetables and fruits, and creates a new relationship to food for the gardener.
By supporting individuals to take control of their food they can access their health in a new way. Our strategy is to work one-on-one and in small groups with low income residents to help them gain self-sufficiency and empowerment surrounding their food.
The first step is connecting with communities that have invited us. From there we build relationships with people who want to garden. Throughout we are educating on gardening, soil building, cooking with foods from your garden and more. We coordinate a build day in a specific neighborhood and coordinate volunteers to build gardens for families in our program.
We host workshops and offer ongoing support for gardeners. 70% of Just Gardeners report giving food from their garden away. Many gardens share their knowledge of gardening with their community. In this way we are developing a program in which gardeners become producers, educators and activists to empower the next generation of gardeners.
How do we measure and evaluate the impact of our work?
In an effort to measure our effectiveness towards meeting our goals and to continually improve our programs, we conduct a pre- and post-survey for all garden recipients. Each survey contains a combination of 26 qualitative and quantitative questions that were initially distributed in the spring and again in the fall. Furthermore, our garden mentors regularly report what services/products would be advantageous for garden recipients.
In 2016 Just Garden underwent an extensive evaluation of past and present gardeners. The pdf below has the extent of our findings.
2016 Extensive Evaluation Findings