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.
If you’ve been thinking of donating land, but you aren’t sure you want volunteers coming on to your property, you’d rather grow a large-scale garden yourself, or you already have a garden, the produce from which you’d like to donate to the cause, let us know. Our “Garden Partners” don’t invite members of the volunteer corps onto their land, but harvest and drop off the produce they grow to our processing site. Please read our commitments page for information about what sorts of practices we’d like you to join us in doing. A Garden Partner agrees to devote at least 40 sq. ft. of garden to the cause. We provide plants and seeds for you to grow what we’ll need for the season.
We’ve partnered with organic farms to help them make sure their produce doesn’t go to waste and so that our capacity is increased. It’s not leftover, damaged, or deficient food, it’s fresh and would be offered on the market normally. Our partners agree to harvest within our 24-hour window of time, and we make sure that it stays fresh until it can be distributed. We also purchase thousand of dollars of extra produce from these farmers to provide a wider variety of produce items to our subscribers. We’re happy to boost the local organic food economy and strengthen our relationships with our farmers, too! Currently, we work with Pearson Organics, EarthDance Farm, Middle Fork Farm, Barefoot Gardens, and Firefly Berries, and Featherstone Farm. Pearson Organics, EarthDance Farm, Middle Fork Farm, Barefoot Gardens, Firefly Berries, and Featherstone Farm.
Rochester Area Foundation
Carl and Verna Schmidt Foundation