On May 6th, Yisrael Family Urban Farm and volunteers gathered at a local Oak Park residence to build a garden and promote healthy communities.
Yisrael Family Urban Farm
Plants require three basic elements for survival. They have been and will always be nature’s holy trinity: food, water and sunshine. Though for some time there has been chatter among gardeners and farmers alike that there is a fourth component key to a plant’s ability to thrive: love.
Yisrael Family Urban Farms, more than your average backyard garden, practices that philosophy in spades as they grow healthful foods for themselves and their community.
This summer the Yisrael family is tackling a new and widespread endeavor, Project G.O.O.D. (Growing Our Own Destiny) and they are seeking help from youth to do so.
Program attendees are guaranteed to “find value in real work, experience firsthand what it means to be stewards of the earth, reconnect with food, and be a leader in your community,” according to an online flyer.
The only two applicant qualifications are residing in a designated BHC area and fully committing to attend the program in its entirety. Also, youth in the program will be paid in stipends.
The mission of the Summer Youth Leadership Program is to “transform the hood for G.O.O.D. using agriculture as a tool for community engagement, empowerment, and employment,” relayed the flyer. “Project G.O.O.D. brings youth together from different backgrounds to have fun together while learning where food comes from, how it is grown, and how to prepare it. Careful mentoring, meaningful work, humor and kindness are at the center of all we do at Yisrael Family Urban Farm!”
Apply at the Yisrael Family Urban Farms Website.
The raw perfume of fertilizer waltzes through the air as an elderly man is assisted in prepping his front yard for its advantageous “facelift”. A new Building Healthy Communities program called We Diggit Urban Gardens now exists which creates varying types of gardens for the people within the boundaries the organization serves.
With the passing of the recently campaigned citywide urban agriculture ordinance, residential farming is not only allowed but encouraged. Local programs like the BHC are voicing their approval and excitement by helping the community.
Participants of the program must qualify by being a BHC area resident, completing the additional free Gardening 101 Class, volunteering at a local community garden for a day, and committing to take responsibility for the care of the garden bestowed upon said participant.
According to the Yisrael Family Urban Farm website, the program will offer a variety of gardens accommodations for the differing living arrangements of BHC residents, “including raised garden beds and in-ground gardens or container gardening for residents in apartments or with limited space” to those who meet the reasonable qualifications.
Along with a free garden, recipients can receive gardening tools, composting advice and a year’s supply of seeds and plants.
“When residents are supported with education and tools needed to grow their own food, they become healthier by eating more vegetables, increased physical activity by working in the garden, and they save money by reducing their food bill,” according the Yisrael website.
Financially sponsored by the California Endowment and in collaboration with Soil Born Farms, the program really seeks to help Sacramentans turn a new leaf in their sense of health and community.
“With a single seed, not much bigger than the period at the end of this sentence, we will rebuild, restore, and repair our communities to a healthier place and well-being,” stated the website.
The amount of gardens that can be built is limited so anyone interested is encouraged to act fast.
Applications are available on the Yisrael website.
My name is Yeshahyah Yisrael and I was born on April 27,1998. I’m 16 years old and reside in South Oak Park in the beautiful city of Sacramento. I attend California Virtual Academy, which is a home school program. I’m a member of the Yisrael Family Urban Farm. Our mission is to transform the hood for good by using urban agriculture to empower, educate, and employ the residents in the community and surrounding communities. Anyone who wants to learn more about the Yisrael Family Urban Farm can visit our website can click here. I’m also associated with Sacramento’s Building Healthy Community Youth Leadership Team. The Sacramento’s BHC is a 10 year program by the California Endowment. The BHC employs youth to go out in neighborhoods of South Sacramento and engage its residents to transform their communities into an elegant, healthy communities.
I’m also very passionate about reviving Mother Earth. I believe every human on the planet should have a connection with Mother Earth. Mother Earth sustains the whole human race and we as human take a lot away from Mother Earth, why not give back for a change. We should be connected to our roots of working in the soil and preserving Mother Earth, not destroying her. I also believe that urban agriculture should be practiced everywhere, but more so in my city because its known as “The Farm to Fork Capital Of The World”. We are called that throughout the nation, however only 1% of the food grown in Sacramento is actually eaten here.
There are a lot of vacant lots in my community. I think a good way to deal with that problem is urban agriculture, by taking the blighted lots and transforming them into dazzling gardens. This would benefit the neighborhoods in several ways. First, instead of going to the grocery store, a resident could walk to the community garden and get fresh, healthy fruits and veggies. Also, that will put a hole inside their grocery store bill and everyone wants to save money. Second, everyone wants to have a beautiful neighborhood and having destroyed lots just defeats the purpose. Third, the residents can get organic, non-gmo, rejuvenating produce. Inside of grocery stores, you don’t really know if your food has pesticides, herbicides, or other chemicals that are poisonous to the mind, body and soul, hence the phrase “You are what you eat”. In a community garden, a resident is right there in the community, so they see the work that goes on to make their food, they can see if chemicals were used.
I also love to skateboard. To reduce my carbon footprint, I ride a skateboard. It also makes me very mobile. I can get around easily without using a car. Riding in a car produces a lot of pollution into the air. Riding a skateboard saves my parents money. They don’t have money to take me around everywhere. The only downfall is that if I fall I could seriously hurt myself.