Collective Roots promotes social justice by developing “a community in which all people have access to gardens and fresh, healthy and environmentally sustainable food.” Collective Roots provided hands on training in gardening, nutrition, cooking, and healthy living to East Palo Alto residents in 2012 part of Free at Last, a community recovery center for substance abuse treatment and prevention services. The program also gave residents job skills training skills and income-earning opportunities by selling their produce at the East Palo Alto Community Farmer’s Market.
Last year, Collective Roots’ Backyard Gardner Network provided residents in East Palo Alto and Belle Haven access to seeds, gardening tools, food preservation training and materials, an existing greenhouse, compost, mulch, raised beds and monthly workshops. The Backyard Gardner Network built self-sufficiency skills by minimizing reliance on unstable food sources (food banks, food pantries, income of relatives). Participants were given access to seeds, gardening tools, food preservation training and materials, an existing greenhouse, compost, mulch, raised beds and monthly workshops. Garden beds were installed in residents’ homes and participants were engaged in selling some of their produce at the Farmers’ Market.
View this tour of backyard gardens in East Palo Alto where members of the Backyard Gardener Network share tips on what to grow, how to grow it, and new ways to eat the fruits of your labors from home food gardens.