Veggielution empowers youth and adults from diverse backgrounds to create a sustainable food system in San Jose. Our urban farm engages the community by providing access to healthy and local food, creating leadership opportunities, and developing creative solutions to social and environmental justice issues.
We foster positive social interactions between all those who participate in our community farm. Participants should feel as though they are a part of a larger farm community, which is centered on the land that we work, the food that we share, and the understanding that we are all dependent on each other and the natural environment that sustains us.
For this farm community to be viable and to truly represent San Jose, it must include children, teens, adults, and elders from diverse backgrounds. The experiences of recent immigrants, youth, working class people and professionals are equally vital. Many voices will be represented in the decision making at the farm.
San Jose’s youth will be at the forefront of a changing world with many social and environmental challenges. Our youth programs will empower youth to understand and undertake these challenges. Working on the farm will teach them valuable leadership skills and how to work together in a community.
Create a Sustainable Food System
We recognize that the Santa Clara Valley, its soil, ecosystem, and watershed are important resources for future generations. The way we produce food today has radically changed from the past. Farming chemicals are damaging our natural resources, genetic engineering is changing the nature of the food we eat, and cheap empty calories are causing major public health problems. We will be a catalyst for food system change by educating people about sustainable farming and engaging the community to advocate for policy change.
Veggielution aims to engage the community in building a food system that is fair and provides all of our fellow community members access to local, sustainable, and nutritious food, as well as the tools to prepare healthy food for themselves and their families. All of our programs are centered around access to healthy food. The food we grow at Veggielution has many routes of distribution to our community. Veggielution produce is given to workday volunteers, Cooking Matters Participants, Dig Crew Youth, and is sold at our Low Cost Farm Stand each Saturday, at our farmer’s market stand on Fridays, to restaurants who believe in sourcing local and sustainable produce, and lastly donated to soup kitchens. We currently have 30 families enrolled in our Farm Box Program. Each week these families receive a box full of produce for their family at a very low cost. We now accept EBT/ Food Stamps at our Farm Stand and for our Farm Box Program.
We see education as a key ingredient in creating significant change in the health of the low-income communities of East San Jose. In a partnership with Three Squares, we offer Cooking Matters - a free 6 week cooking and nutrition course for all community members. Our Cooking Matters classes are led by our Promotores. Our Promotores are a group of Spanish speaking peer educators from the neighborhoods surrounding the farm. These peer educators gain the skills to become leaders in creating a healthy and informed San Jose.
Can you dig it? Veggielution engages high school students on a deep level through Dig Crew, our teen after school and summer program. Youth participating in the program work on the farm while learning about sustainable agriculture, nutrition, active living, cooking, environmental issues, and food justice. Throughout the program youth gain transferable job skills such as communication, teamwork, and leadership. They also act as agents of change in their families and communities, spreading the knowledge and skills they have learned on the farm. Not only do we seek to educate High School aged youth, we care deeply about educating our neighborhood children. We currently work at 2 local Elementary Schools, Goss and McKinley, to offer outdoor and hands on education in our School Gardens Program. Through their school garden classes, every child in these schools gets to learn about a myriad of subjects from math and science to botany and the environment. These classes offer the kids a chance to get out of the classroom and learn about the world around them through tangible experience.
We invite all members of our community out for our weekly Volunteer Workdays. At our workdays, volunteers participate in a variety of farm tasks such as weeding, planting, composting, and harvesting. The bulk of our farm work is accomplished through these workdays, so that our food is truly grown by and for the community. We strive to recruit a diverse range of individuals and families to volunteer with us and welcome all ages. After each Saturday workday we share in a potluck lunch. Come on down and meet your neighbors and share in the fruits of your labor! For those with kids, every Saturday we have Family Fun in the Garden, which connects families with each other, the environment, and their food, through educational activities and exploration on the farm.
Like what we do at Veggielution? We invite you to come out to any of our scheduled workdays. Get involved!
Want to support our programs? Donate here!