Briarpatch Garden Project - 2021 Update
Supporting food security in Dane County by empowering vulnerable & homeless youth with the skills to farm high-quality produce (and have fun while doing it!)
The 2021 Briarpatch Garden Project was a success, despite some COVID hiccups (again!). Shelbi, our new farmer-educator, dove in head first to turn our garden space into an oasis while engaging (and entertaining) the youth that came out to work on the farm. Shelbi enjoyed her work so much that she has agreed to come on board for next summer as we intend to continue this project. In 2022, we plan to expand the project to reach more kids and develop a more permanent educational curriculum that can be used indefinitely.
This past season, the project donated ~700 lbs of produce including some that was consumed by the Briarpatch youth. Final deliveries of squash to the food pantry are yet to come.
In 2021, Briarpatch brought small groups to the garden throughout the summer, and these kids were enthusiastic (for the most part!) about getting their hands dirty to plant, weed, water, and harvest high-quality fruits and vegetables. The in-person, hands-on training sessions were fantastic--complete with games, discussion, and fresh produce tastings. Some students even took some produce home from the garden and cooked it for dinner at Briarpatch!
This year, we seek funding for: a port-a-potty at the farm for easy use by participants, development of educational materials that students can take home with them, and support for an on-farm educational and celebratory open-house during the summer of 2022 to showcase youth effort and success while sharing camaraderie and tasty food. Please considering supporting this project.