By Lee Erica Elder
..."HGP’s programs exist at the intersection of urban agriculture and food-justice movements, transitional jobs and job training, homeless services and therapeutic horticulture. There is a synergy among these purposes and ideals in daily practice at the farm..." Read more
By Julie Brothers
Farm To Fork Across America -- EcoFarm Conference: Sustainable Agriculture, Food, Love and Butterflies
By Julie Brothers
In a couple weeks I'll be attending the oldest and largest ecological agricultural gathering in the West. The EcoFarm Conference has been a centrifugal force for more than 30 years. It will be jam-packed with networking opportunities and information on the newest eco-ag developments and techniques.
By Maria Grusauskas
Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the Homeless Garden Project has been a designated volunteer day for a long time now. This year saw at least 60 helping hands, and many of them were families with children."It's a real treatwhen we get kids out here, because usually kids are in school during our weekly volunteer hours," said Kelly Mercer, Volunteer Coordinator at the Homeless Garden Project.
By Tanya Lewis
SANTA CRUZ - Despite the chilly weather Monday, a lively crew of volunteers at Natural Bridges Farm heaped compost piles, pulled weeds and prepared lunch from freshly harvested produce. The community composting event was one of a variety of service projects the Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County organized in honor of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of service.
January 15th, 2012
With unemployment at an all-time high, and the economy at an all-time low, homelessness has become a far more pressing problem in communities around the United States. As the ability to solidify a stable income becomes significantly more difficult with each passing day; shelters and food kitchens are seeing record-breaking attendance numbers. Thankfully, organizations like the Homeless Garden Project, are combating that very problem.
January 11, 2012
People have always grown food in urban spaces—on windowsills and sidewalks, and in backyards and neighborhood parks—but today, urban farmers are leading an environmental and social movement with intent to transform our national food system.
By Alex Hubner
This year 24 people died in Santa Cruz County while homeless. They died from a number of causes including drug overdose, chronic alcoholism, suicide, homicide, and a variety of health issues related to the homeless lifestyle.
By Tara Fatemi Walker December 18, 2011
If you’re in Santa Cruz and need some last-minute holiday gifts, Homeless Garden Project has some unique offerings including a few food-related items.
Affordable gifts with a cause from Homeless Garden Project.
SANTA CRUZ -- Joan Fedencia showed her friend around a store recently, pointing out items she had made by hand.
On any given day through Dec. 24, Fedencia could very well have a number of her works hanging from the walls of the Homeless Garden Project Holiday Store on Pacific Avenue.
By Maria Grusauskas December 3, 2011
When Robert Cochran, 38, arrived in Santa Cruz two years ago, he brought nothing with him but the clothes on his back and the resolution to turn his life around. He had decided to come to Santa Cruz on a whim, tired of his old lifestyle in San Francisco where he said things had taken a turn for the worse.
By Elizabeth December 1, 2011
If you’ve been downtown recently, you may have noticed the bright new Homeless Garden Project store front on Pacific Ave between O’Neill’s & Verizon (110 Cooper Street). If so, you might also have wondered whether there is an actual garden, how it works, and exactly what it is they cultivate there. Plagued by such questions, I dropped in to pay a visit and spoke with director Darrie Ganzhorn to get the scoop.
Because everybody loves stuff from Santa Cruz
By Maria Grusauskas
Most people will love and appreciate the unnecessary material good you’ve carefully selected—it’s the thought that counts, anyway, right? But when it comes to the impassioned activist on your list, holiday shopping becomes a little more challenging. For the Occupier in the family, there is only one type of gift that will flatter and please without offending their anti-corporate, nonconsumerist and eco-conscious values: the made-in-Santa Cruz gift. This guide locates some nifty locally made gifts anyone can feel warm and fuzzy about giving or receiving.
The Homeless Garden Project Holiday Store is back downtown thru December 24th! View local artists’ paintings, jewelry and other works with themes of gardens, hearth & home, farm and nature, plus items that incorporate recycled materials.
By Carol Carson October 30th 2011
At the new traffic circle close to the wharf, the Homeless Garden Project, retail store opened its doors Friday for the first “Sweets and Treats” party.
Over 120 people got a jump on their holiday shopping as they sampled locally-donated wines and project-made organic treats, like lavender-infused brownies and shortbread. The mixes are sold in reusable Mason jars.
By Jessica Pasko, October 23, 2011
SANTA CRUZ -- Some 60 volunteers were hard at work Saturday at the Homeless Garden Project, helping to shape and create new strawberry beds, harvest flowers and other tasks.
The garden, at Natural Bridges State Beach, was one of several sites participating in the annual Make A Difference Day event through The Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County
By Greg Archer, August 10, 2011
How a cool posse of enterprising teens managed to find
greater meaning in life and give back to the community. Two words: Food
Not too long ago, Jacques Jackson, a Watsonville teenager, often came home after school and, by his own admission, would not do anything productive at all. “Me and my friends would just go and waste time.”
By Shanna McCord August 01, 2011
From the coastal outdoor venue to the elegantly set tables, local wines and grass-fed lamb entree, Sunday's inaugural community dinner for the Homeless Garden Project was an affair fit for a Zagat rating.
More than 50 people turned out for the sustainable farm dinner held at the Homeless Garden Project's 3.5-acre farm -- packed with flowers, fruits and vegetables -- tucked off the Westside's Delaware Avenue.
The $50 ticket price, which covered the three-course meal, served as a fundraiser for the 20-year-old nonprofit that trains homeless people in organic, sustainable farming practices.
By Tessa Stuart June 21, 2011
“Aren’t these beauuutiful?” Rachel Cohen asks, brandishing three bright purple, glistening “Bull’s Blood” beets, each about the size of a fist, with thick leafy stalks that look like chard (and can be used like so in recipes). Cohen supervises the Homeless Garden Project’s Natural Bridges Farm, and the beets she’s just pulled from the ground are part of a cornucopia—carrots, strawberries, dandelion greens, a micro greens mix, leaf lettuce, sage, chard and flowers, and that’s just this week—available at the farm’s new U-Pick CSA.
By Laura Copeland May 15, 2011
SANTA CRUZ - The homeless have no shortage of beds at the Natural Bridges Farm, many of them bursting with herbs or vegetables, flowers or strawberries.
Each of the raised boxes at the 2.5-acre site "has a life," says Homeless Garden Project farm manager Forrest Cook, whose favorite bed is near the shed where he parks his rhubarb-red bicycle on weekday mornings. It's the one chock-full of Asian greens.
By Jondi Gumz May 11, 2011
SANTA CRUZ - The future of food looks something like this: Grocery chains marketing themselves as purveyors of natural products rather than organic, a term that is tightly regulated. People growing their own food so it's fresh. Conventional growers learn how to grow without pesticides from organic farmers. Americans learning from a Swiss pioneer working with bio-char, a material that boosts the water-holding capacity of the soil and increases biodiversity.
Santa Cruz’s Homeless Garden Project offers organic CSA subscriptions
By Tara Fatemi Walker March 25, 2011
Santa Cruz’s Homeless Garden Project (HGP) is currently selling subscriptions to its organic CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), which runs from May-October. I have been a CSA member in the past; subscribers receive a fabulous weekly bounty while supporting a very worthwhile cause.
From the garden to the people, Paul Glowaski, a board member of the Homeless Garden Project, tells the story of its transformation over the past 20 years. The story continues as staff and volunteers contribute their best effort in serving and working with the community members of Santa Cruz county (segment on HGP begins 9 minutes into the clip).
Volunteers Mark MLK Day In Santa Cruz
January 17, 2011
SANTA CRUZ -- KSBW television covers volunteers working at the homeless garden project on Martin Luther King's day of service.
Homeless Garden Project brings people full circle
By Isaiah Guzman 12/16/2010
SANTA CRUZ -- Recovering addict Lauri Girard said she loves watching the life of a vegetable. She enjoys how it starts as nothing, gets watered and pruned and eventually is eaten as nourishment.
"Just the full circle," the 51-year-old said.
In a sense, the Homeless Garden Project is helping Girard grow much like the plants she cultivates on the program's nearly 3-acre organic farm on Shaffer Road.
Or, better put, the project is helping her grow back.
Homeless Garden Turns 20
By Cat Johnson Thu, Sep 30, 2010
Conceived in 1990 as a catalyst to help people get off the streets and turn their lives around, the Homeless Garden Project has, over the last 20 years, given hundreds of people a foothold on a better life. To celebrate its 20th anniversary, the project is throwing a party, ...
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What We Have as a Group is Abundant
By Cat Johnson, Aug 4, 2010
Today is Jackson Fowler’s last day on the job. For the past two years he’s been a trainee on a small, organic farm in Santa Cruz, California, and now he’s headed off to a new job on a 32-acre blueberry and fig farm, where he’ll continue the work that, he discovered, comes quite naturally to him.
“Before this job, I didn’t have any hands-on experience with farming other than pulling weeds for my mom,” he says, taking a break from harvesting strawberries. “But I guess it runs in the blood, because once I got my hands in the dirt, I couldn’t stop.”
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