The Seaside Garden Club welcomes the Backyard Growers on Tuesday, April 11, 7 pm at the Manchester Community Center. Guests are welcome, $5 fee.
Backyard Growers (BYG) is a grassroots organization helping to reshape Gloucester’s relationship with food. We provide resources and support to establish vegetable gardens and accompanying programming at homes, housing communities, organizations, and schools. In the end we create life-long gardeners inspired by the power of growing one’s own food. Our mission has remained consistent since our inception, with new mission-driven programs and initiatives added each year to continue reaching a broader swath of our community over time.
Urban farmer Lara Lepionka founded Backyard Growers in 2010 as a way to help her neighbors stretch their budgets by growing their own food. Since those first gardens were built, Backyard Growers has grown exponentially to include a suite of programs serving a broad segment of Gloucester’s low- to moderate-income residents with a focus on serving children and their families. From a school garden program operating district-wide to bring over 1,500 students Pre-K through high school out to their school gardens each year, to evening cooking classes for new gardeners, Backyard Growers aims to make access to gardening and fresh, healthy food an easy option for Gloucester residents.
During the 2008 recession Lara Lepionka and her family tore out their postage stamp lawn and started an intensive urban micro-farm, feeding their family of four and creating a model for urban farming in Gloucester, MA. Having caught the gardening bug, Lara founded Backyard Growers in 2010 with a $6,000 budget, helping a handful of families in her neighborhood start their own vegetable gardens. Her ultimate goal: creating life-long gardeners inspired by the power of growing one’s own food.
She has developed Backyard Growers into a grassroots non-profit organization with an annual budget of over $250,000. Backyard Growers provides resources and support to establish vegetable gardens at homes, housing communities, non-profit organizations, and public schools, and offers accompanying programs and initiatives that promote a love of fresh, local produce. Prior to her role as Executive Director of Backyard Growers, Lara has worked for the past twenty years in the non-profit sector focusing on education, the arts and food justice issues. Visit their website for more information: http://www.backyardgrowers.org/
Mark your calendars for our very popular annual plant sale and auction on May 9th. We conclude our season in June with a Pot Luck and Book Club discussion.
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