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The Growing Community Project

THE GROWING COMMUNITY PROJECT

HUMANITARIAN GARDENS BUILD COMMUNITY RESILIENCE

The global pandemic and economic crisis have impacted Santa Barbara County. Among the many hardships that the community faces is the hard fact that tens of thousands of Santa Barbara County residents are unable to put enough food on the table. Even before COVID-19, one out of four families countywide struggled with hunger. The pandemic has only made things worse.
Now there is something you can do about it. It’s called The Growing Community Project.

COMMUNITY RESILIENCE

The Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade was founded to organize, train and deploy community volunteers in response to crisis. Our goal: Build grassroots local resilience by dramatically enhancing the community’s ability to cooperate in a crisis. Food security is a fundamental pillar of community resilience. To help fight hunger, we will work together with volunteers and our community partners to grow and share food with hungry neighbors.
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A NATIONAL TRADITION

During the First and Second World Wars, victory gardens on private property and public parklands provided fresh fruits and vegetables to citizens during wartime rationing. In 1943, 40% of the nation’s fresh vegetables were grown in victory gardens. These gardens didn’t just feed hungry people, they also boosted morale and community spirit by connecting individual gardeners to a bigger cause.

A MODERN APPROACH

What if we could connect fresh produce from home gardens to neighbors in need? We can! The Growing Community Project will help people grow fresh organic produce in their own backyards or in a community garden and then connect their donated harvest to the local foodbank and other humanitarian feeding partners to improve the health and nutrition of hungry families across Santa Barbara County. Using the Bucket Brigade crowdsourcing system, volunteers will collect, sort, weigh and deliver donated produce to trusted local feeding partners to make sure your fresh veggies go where they are needed most.
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WISDOM OF OUR ELDERS

ADVICE TO GROW BY: For hundreds of years, agriculture has been a key part of Santa Barbara’s cultural and economic fabric. Through our partnership with the UC Master Gardeners, the Bucket Brigade Growing Community draws from the science-backed wisdom of UC research to help educate newcomers and the next generation.

ENGAGE THE YOUTH

As the pandemic took hold and people started stepping up to help those in need, we noticed that young people were eager, apt, and innovative. Spontaneous youth resilience groups like Zoomers to Boomers and Teen Glean have inspired young people to connect, align and engage. Our Bucket Brigade Growing Community Project provides another safe, family friendly way to help. The BBGC also provides a clear path for teens to learn and earn community-service hours during the global crisis and distance learning isolation.
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MAKE A DIFFERENCE NOW

Our Growing Community Project is a great way to get outside and to safely connect with other caring community members, especially for people who may have been self-isolating during the pandemic. Even from the safety of your own backyard, you become an important part of a community volunteer deployment to help build food resilience across all of Santa Barbara County. Join us today!
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THE BENEFITS OF HUMANITARIAN GARDENING

  • Develop fundamental farming and gardening skills, such as seed propagation, transplanting, composting, landscaping, construction, and maintenance
  • Build practical understanding of the food system’s connection to soil health, the natural world, culture, and your neighbors in Santa Barbara County
  • Improve physical health with nutritious food and moderate outdoor exercise
  • Enhance social and emotional health by working in a calm and safe environment with positive social interactions
  • Make a difference in local public health by improving the diets of our most vulnerable community members
  • Expand the use of community gardens and encourage the construction of permagardens and food forests on private property and public spaces to build local food resilience
  • Ensure the continuity and development of local farming and gardening wisdom
  • Get away from your computer and go outside with a purpose!  We all need a little more quality time away from screens these days.  Get out in the garden!

1 IN 4 FAMILIES ARE FOOD INSECURE IN SANTA BARBARA

“How can Santa Barbara County ever become resilient when one out of every four families doesn’t get enough to eat? It’s time to stop talking and to start growing!”

– Abe Powell, Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade
Co-founder/CEO

“Winning is only possible if we win together.”

– Thomas C. Parker
President, Hutton Parker Foundation

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