As a proud member of 1% for the Planet, we give 1% of our gross revenue to environmental non-profits, like Wild Willow Farm. We sat down with co-founder Adam Hiner to learn more about how our donations are utilized. We are excited to support the Farm to Families program as it kicks off its 3rd year at Wild Willow Farm, right down the road from our brewery in Imperial Beach. Farm to Families was dreamed up by Boochcraft in conjunction with Wild Willow Farm in 2018 as we saw a huge disparity in access to fresh organic food for low-income families right here in the South Bay. 

What is Farm to Families?

The Farm to Families program strives to increase knowledge and awareness of the connection between food, health, and wellbeing in an effort to break down the barriers that stand between low-income families and access to healthy food. We believe these barriers are one of the root causes of food and health disparities in San Diego. The F2F program achieves its mission through providing weekly boxes of farm-grown produce, facilitating free cooking, nutrition, and garden education courses, and coordinating support and logistics for continuing gardening and education after the conclusion of the program.

The F2F program’s vision is to provide nutrition education and fresh produce opportunities to San Diego families in need. We want families to have access to fresh, local, and sustainably grown produce. With this program, we can help to cultivate a future where diversity is valued, nurtured, and cared for at all levels of society, whether it be in our native soils or in our communities. F2F will create positive change in the San Diego food system, by inspiring and cultivating community that truly engages participants to take action, become leaders, and achieve food sovereignty.

How many families participate?

The program consisted of 8 families enrolled with 6 completing the program in 2018. The following year 12 enrolled and 10 completed the program. In 2020 Wild Willow Farm will expand the program to double its size with 20 families total split into 2 separate 12-week sessions of 10 families each. Alongside the support from Boochcraft, Wild Willow expects to obtain grant funding to further support the growth and success of the program. 

What does success look like?

Success for the program can be broken up into different areas of focus:

Education

  • – Increase awareness and knowledge of the link between food, health and wellbeing. 
  • – Provide valuable and engaging resources, food, and space for learning.
  • – Provide educational opportunities that are hands-on and connect people to their food sources.
  • – Spread knowledge of cooking, nutrition, healing, wellness, sustainable gardening.
  • – Facilitate education practices in many languages, and with culturally diverse facilitators. 

 

Cultivation

  • – Cultivate the nutrient-dense food through sustainable farming practices.
  • – Inspire others to expand sustainable farming practices and regenerate soils throughout San Diego County. 
  • – Motivate and inspire communities to adopt healthy food habits.
  • – Families are encouraged to cook and eat together, cultivating change in nuclear families and communities.

 

Empowerment 

  • – Participants are engaged in active leadership opportunities to educate their communities.
  • – Serve those who most need it, and engage them in opportunities that shape the goals and vision of the program. 
  • – Leverage resources for the highest impact. 
  • – Lay the groundwork for participants to live happier and healthier lives as defined by them. 
  • – Diversity is valued and promoted; participants cultural histories are shared, valued, and acknowledged.
  • – Be a part of a large network of F2F participants thriving: participants continue to garden, cook, and participate in the farm.  

 

Awareness

  • – Serve low-income families, including vulnerable populations such as children, elderly, immigrants and refugees. 
  • – Make fresh, local, and sustainably grown produce accessible to families in San Diego, many of who live in food deserts. 
  • – Address the root causes and barriers of food disparities in San Diego by increasing knowledge of the connection between food, health and wellbeing. 
  • – F2F is known and recognized in the community by local residents and healthcare providers as improving overall health.

 

Collaboration 

  • – F2F achieves its goals through collaborative efforts with like-minded organizations, community members, service agencies, leaders, schools, clinics and universities. 
  • – Engages all sectors of society for a common good by providing opportunities to create positive changes in the San Diego food system. 
  • – F2F works with other local farms, educators and leaders in the San Diego food system to expand our programming and reach of influence.

 

Health Outcomes

  • – Participants learn how to improve their health through diet, in ways such as: reduced risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.

 

Stay tuned as we kick off the program this year. Wild Willow Farm will be doing outreach in early February to look for participating families with the first session starting in April.

Each session the participants will attend 6 hands-on cooking classes, gardening workshops, and nutrition education sessions that incorporate the whole family. They will also receive weekly produce boxes, printed educational materials, and recipes that incorporate their produce. At the conclusion of the session, each family will be able to choose if they want a garden built at their home or if they would like a community garden plot at the Sweetwater Community Garden for two years at no charge.  This year we are hoping that we can integrate many of the families into the community garden, where we will be able to offer continued gardening support and foster an ongoing relationship.

If you are interested in participating or getting involved, visit www.wildwillowfarm.org for more information.

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