La Mesa Verde programs develop a leadership network of urban gardeners who build access to healthy food in San Jose.
What We Do
LMV was launched in July 2009. By Spring 2013, over 350 low-income families in San Jose were growing their own organic vegetable gardens in their homes.
Each family participates in two seasonal plantings in Fall and Spring. Together, we nurture a culture of food self-sufficiency by providing knowledge about cultivation and cooking while reinforcing family and community relationships in a network of urban gardeners. First-year families:
- Receive starter supplies: up to two raised horizontal or vertical beds, soil, and seedlings
- Participate in classes on nutrition and cooking, organic gardening, and understanding your local food system that are designed to ensure their garden will be successful and healthy
- Work with garden mentors during home visits for one-to-one support
- Are invited to participate in leadership training and advocacy opportunities for families and volunteers who are concerned about food insecurity issues in their communities
How We Do It
Graduates of the program continue their involvement in their community through our Neighborhood Guilds. In addition to continuing peer education on various urban gardening topics, these graduates have developed their own cooperative network of LMV stakeholders that work to support and guide the program by:
- Volunteering to be peer mentors through home visits;
- Recruiting other families to participate;
- Outreach calls reminding participants of upcoming events;
- Digitizing and recording program attendance;
- Facilitating workshops for other families and for the extended community;
- Helping other families to install garden beds and plant gardens; and
- Advocating for local policy change related to food justice.
How You Can Help Plant Seeds of Change
- Make a Donation - your tax deductible gift helps us to sustain and develop this program and supports the next 50 low income families that will receive gardens
- Volunteer - give your time and share your skills, or learn with us how to plant gardens, build beds, and conduct home visits
- Drives - organize a drive to provide seedlings, building materials, or other garden supplies