La Mesa Verde (LMV) assists low-income, working poor, and the long-term unemployed residents of San Jose to grow organic vegetables in their backyards. We do this by providing LMV participant families all the materials needed to grow an organic garden in their home including raised beds, soil, drip irrigation system, seeds/seedlings and compost.
Participants are required to attend organic gardening classes to learn how to maintain their gardens and nutrition classes to learn how to prepare healthy meals for their families with the vegetables they have grown.
Families are supported by a cadre of garden mentors to provide the necessary knowledge and skills to bring their gardens to harvest.
LMV families will plant organic vegetables gardens three times during the year-long program with the goal of empowering these families to become lifelong organic vegetable gardeners to help address the issue of food insecurity and increasing self-sufficiency while they reduce their carbon footprint.
The project has several purposes:
- Improving the health and well-being of low-income families.
Home organic vegetable gardens promote a healthier lifestyle by giving families ready access to fresh vegetables. It encourages outside exercise (digging, planting, weeding, harvesting). The garden provides a pleasurable physical and mental oasis, and creates learning opportunities for children and adults.
- Increasing self-sufficiency.
Home organic vegetable gardens give families the opportunity to grow a portion of their own food, while offering low-cost, healthy food choices. Growing their own vegetables is empowering and inspiring for these families.
- Thinking globally, acting locally.
Home organic vegetable gardens promote pesticide-free, sustainable, affordable, and economical land use that helps families reclaim healthier eating habits.
- Promoting community involvement.
Families are encouraged to share their produce with friends and family or donate to the food bank, and to share their new knowledge of gardening with their community.
The impacts on participating households are:
- Increase consumption of fresh vegetables.
- Reduce reliance on Sacred Heart Community Service food pantry for food supplements.
- Increase self-sufficiency of participating households by reducing food costs to aid the household budget.
For more information about La Mesa Verde watch our video.