What We Do
Since 2011, GrowGood has been working with the Salvation Army to develop a garden-based program for the residents of the Bell Shelter that uses healthy food and gardening as a catalyst for healing.
GrowGood’s 1.5 -acre farm consists of a an orchard of 50 fruit trees, 14 raised vegetable garden beds, a 1/2 acre area of in-round row crops, and a California native plant garden filled with over 300 flowering, drought-tolerant plants. GrowGood’s vegetable growing areas and trees are all connected to a state-of-the-art Netafim drip irrigation system.
Food Production Measured in 1,000 lbs.
GrowGood's farm provides a variety of nutritious, fresh produce to the Shelter's kitchen daily. In 2015, GrowGood provided 2,400 lbs of produce to the Shelter's kitchen. In 2016, we reached over 7,100 lbs. In 2017, we project will be able to supply 18,000 lbs of produce to the Shelter's kitchen, more than doubling 2016's output. Our increased output is the result of hard work from our farm managers and interns, years of soil rehabilitation paying off, and systematizing our growing and harvesting calendar.
GrowGood’s farm is a beautiful, green space for residents to enjoy. In 2014, GrowGood planted a California native garden designed by Landscape Architect Elliot Richman that is filled with over 300 flowering, draught tolerant plants. Most of the species represented in our native garden are part of the Coastal Sage Scrub plant community that covered much of the Los Angeles basin before it was cleared for development. The plants have evolved over thousands of years to thrive here without supplemental water, fertilizers, or pesticides.
In addition to providing food to the Shelter’s kitchen and green space for residents to gather and socialize, GrowGood farm provides ongoing and frequent learning opportunities for Shelter clients about the principles of organic gardening. GrowGood’s Jayne Torres, teaches GrowGood’s “Food for Life” garden class for Shelter residents. The garden class consists of classroom instruction, hands on training, mindfulness exercises, and ongoing maintenance of the farm.
“The garden class taught me to be more patient. It allowed me to take time to focus on the important parts of my recovery and not to sweat the small stuff.” - Kat I.
For GrowGood’s job training program, the basic premise is that the best way to teach how to be employed is to employ. This also goes hand in hand with the therapeutic aspect of the program. Not only does GrowGood's commercial growing business provide paid work opportunities for Shelter residents, but also a revenue stream to support GrowGood's other garden-related programming.
What We've Achieved
- Constructed fourteen 12' x 4' raised garden beds
- Planted 50 fruit trees
- Planted over 300 drought-tolerant California native plants to beautify the site
- Connected all garden beds and trees to state-of-the-art Netafim drip irrigation
- Won 1st prize in the UCLA Social Enterprise Academy business plan competition to grow micro-greens at the Shelter and sell them to local restaurants. Received $12,000 in prize money.
- Conducts bi-weekly garden classes
- Hired Master Gardener Jayne Torres as our full-time "Garden Goddess" to manage the day-to-day garden projects
- In 2014, Supplied over 800 pounds of produce to the Shelter’s kitchen
- From Jan 2015, expanded growing site to include in-ground row planting
- Jan 2015 - May 2015, supplied the kitchen with over 500 pounds of lettuce greens. Planted over 125 Tomatoes, 120 squash plants, 170 cucumbers, 30 pole beans, and 40 melons.
- Raising 6 egg laying chickens