We are excited to share a new feature on our blog we’re calling “Humble Deeds.” These posts will highlight those who take part in special projects related to individual or community gardening, and/or an effort that helps promote more sustainable living. The first family we’d like to recognize for a Humble Deed established their own backyard community garden, with a goal of donating the proceeds to local youth charities. This task would be a challenge for anyone, yet the striking part is… an exceptional six-year-old came up with the idea! Learn more about Oliver’s Garden Project below!
They are not only growing vegetables, they are growing adults.
Oliver’s Garden Project is a children’s based initiative that promotes growing organic vegetables in your yard and sharing the excess. Sales of the vegetables go to local youth charities.
Oliver’s Garden Project was started because a six-year-old boy named Oliver wanted to help kids that may not have what they need in terms of food or clothes. It began when Oliver and his mother Stacey were driving, and he spotted two young boys digging through some curbside recycling bins. He asked his mother what they were doing, and Stacey responded, “perhaps they need to return bottles for cash in order to get what they need.” Oliver replied, “no kids should be hungry, we are good people and I want to sell our veggies and give the money to kids in our community.”
They were already growing vegetables in their backyard with the intent to sell and use the money for a family trip. But Oliver convinced them otherwise! With the help of his five-year-old sister Piper, Oliver’s Garden Project was born.
The family trip is still postponed.
They created their handmade vegetable stand and started selling on their front lawn. They sold tomatoes, peppers and basil, and 100% of vegetable sales went to local youth charities. Piper acted as ‘Veggie Stand PR’ and brought in the passers by, while Oliver was answering questions and in charge of the donation jar. His mother blogged about the experience and also shared information on Twitter and on Facebook. It snowballed from there.
The family also had the wonderful support of their neighbors, family and friends, and felt privileged to sell their wares at the Ottawa Street Market. Shortly after, The Hamilton Community Garden Network(HCGN) got in touch with them, and before they knew it they were entered into the Gardens For Good contest through Nature’s Path Organic Foods. Clare Wagner of HCGN and Stacey met and devised a proposal to submit, which would then be evaluated on a voting system. The ending results were for one Canadian and two American projects to each win a $20,000 grant. Oliver’s family won the top voted idea for Canada!
Now with HCGN and Clare’s help, they are going to continue their project throughout their neighborhood. They now have five families that will have their yard transformed into an urban organic vegetable garden. In turn, what they don’t eat themselves they will share with family, friends or neighbors. They will have a Harvest Fundraiser at the end of the season to sell their vegetables and give the proceeds to local youth charities.
They plan to have tool sharing, seedlings, workshops, consultations and garden supplies available to the five families. The public is also welcome to utilize the workshops and tool sharing available. They believe that teaching their children the importance of growing their own food, enjoying it and sharing it is an experience that will last them a lifetime. The family suggests that we all need to get back to basics, feel the pride of producing our own food, and keep it local.
They appreciate any support in keeping this project sustainable. Their future goals include building a greenhouse to have year round access to fresh produce, to continue educating youth, and to create more community gardens. Donations can be made through their website, www.oliversgardenproject.com .
Are you currently involved in a gardening project that contributes to the community and/or promotes a more sustainable lifestyle? Submit your ideas directly to us on Facebook or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org!