We are a volunteer-led movement that values inclusiveness and empowerment. Our volunteers drive the work we do, putting in countless hours of work to make sure our gardens produce hyper-local, organic food for the people who need it most.
Christopher founded Revolutionary Earth in early 2019 after he saw the opportunity to address food justice issues in his hometown of Rochester in a new and innovative way. The mission, vision, programs, and models that Revolutionary Earth makes use of come from a synthesis of ideas about urban agriculture, organic farming and CSA home delivery, and the political thought of the French and American revolutions. As a former university professor and community activist, he brought his love of the humanities into the world of food justice to make a big difference.
Susan Haskamp joined us in 2020 as the president of the Strategic Circle, what we call our board of directors. She works as a Project Coordinator for the Intercultural Mutual Assistance Association, a local nonprofit that organizes social services for refugees and immigrants in SE Minnesota. Like most of our leaders, she regularly joins the volunteers on the Farm, especially harvesting and packing produce for delivery.
Natalie Slagle is a certified financial planner and founder of Fyooz Financial Planning along with her partner Dan Slagle. Natalie brings her financial acumen and practical-minded approach to our movement as the treasurer and leader of the Finance Circle.
Whenever a homeowner in Rochester makes the radical decision to donate her backyard to the movement, we begin to call her a Revolutionary Earth “steward.” Our stewards are some of our most committed volunteers, since they preside over the transformation of their backyards into large-scale vegetable gardens. Some of them just enjoy watching the volunteer corps do the work, others provide countless hours of volunteer work. We value and honor all of our stewards for the amazing sacrifice that they make. The begin the chain of compassionate acts that leads to the distribution of produce to our subscribers. We work with about ten stewards who allow volunteers into their backyards, as well as about a half dozen Garden Partners. We also work with two different churches in the area: People of Hope Lutheran and Gloria Dei Lutheran, each of which has donated a large existing garden at their location for our use.
Our volunteers make everything we do possible. We have volunteers who have come out once or twice, but the vast majority of our workers have dedicated dozens of hours this year to our cause. Some volunteers work in the gardens exclusively, weeding, watering, and planting. Others have never stepped foot in any of our gardens, but provided a vital service as a member of a leadership team. Our movement doesn’t limit the kinds of work we invite volunteers to do. It is more accurate to say that our movement is, in some sense, guided by who shows up and the talents people bring to the table. If you’re interested in volunteering, don’t be shy. We need you to keep growing at the exponential pace we’ve been on this year.
Our subscribers represent a diverse group of individuals and families. We look for people who are food-insecure, which means that they struggle to create consistency in their own household economies when it comes to their food sources. We serve around forty households. Most have mobility or transportation issues, which makes even a trip to the food bank or grocery store a challenge. Many are disabled, physically or mentally, are undergoing cancer treatment, or are immune-compromised. At least half of the people we serve are from minority communities, are new immigrants, or are refugees. But, unlike many charities, we do not disqualify anyone from being considered for our CSA program. The only requirement to be considered is expressing the need for fresh food. If you are in need of our program, please don’t hesitate to reach out.