Strategic Intentions of Franklinton Gardens
WHO WE ARE
Franklinton Gardens is a non-profit urban farm dedicated to growing and sharing healthy food, creating beauty, and building community with our neighbors.
- Local, affordable healthy food for all
- Inspiring community transformation through collective action
- Children playing and learning
- Being good stewards of the earth
- Permanent land tenure in Franklinton that sustains our presence in the community
- Safety and security for our neighbors, ourselves and our resources
- Social justice for community health and well-being
- Finding and nourishing our true selves
Franklinton Gardens is a model urban farm that brings our community together to find fresh, joyful celebration in food. Our permanent hub in Franklinton provides space for exchanging resources and ideas with our neighbors, for building robust partnerships, and for transforming the experience of our community.
WHY WE ARE NEEDED
Access to healthy, fresh food is hampered by the lack of a grocery store in or near Franklinton. The current demographics, spending patterns and market conditions do not support a grocery store. The household base in Franklinton would need to more than double (from 3,600 to 8,500) to support the average supermarket. Almost 44% of households earn less than $15,000. Nearly 22% earn between $15,000 and $25,000. This places two of every three West Franklinton households in an income range where attainment of basic needs and services is a challenge. Restricted access to transportation means that residents buy their food at corner stores, fast food outlets and gas stations. Raising awareness of the role of nutrition in health and providing access to healthy food can address the health challenges prevalent in the neighborhood. And in a neighborhood where 600 of the 4,000 housing units are currently vacant, green and colorful plants provide beauty and the hope of new life. (Source: 2014 West Franklinton Plan http://columbus.gov/planning/wf081814/)
WHERE WE ARE
We use organic practices to grow vegetables, fruits and flowers on two acres at seven locations in Franklinton.
Over the next three years, we intend to expand our physical presence to include:
- A centralized, permanent physical space that will serve as a location for our administrative office and as a gathering spot for our neighbors
- An additional community garden that may be located west of Glenwood
- A series of low-maintenance, efficient food production space expansions that will be made in conjunction with public and private partners
WHAT WE DO
We grow thousands of pounds of healthy, organic vegetables, fruits and flowers that we distribute within our community. We donate food to neighborhood food pantries and other food relief programs, sell produce in Franklinton and at local markets, host a community plot garden, participate in community events, host volunteers, interns and AmeriCorps VISTA members, and participate in the Veggie SNAPS, WIC and Senior Farmers Market programs and WEP (Work Experience Program).
Over the next three years, we intend to …
- Maintain our local community focus by growing food for residents of Franklinton, hosting signature community events in Franklinton, investing in Franklinton real estate, and moving toward creating opportunities to employ Franklinton residents and youth. We will maintain our Avondale community plot garden and consider adding a second community plot garden.
- Grow more food that people want to eat, which we will distribute through our produce stand in Franklinton, local markets, a new CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program, and new retail outlets. We will encourage eating healthy food through cooking classes, demos, food preservation and tastings. We will develop products that we will donate and sell.
- Empower youth through education about gardening, self-sufficiency, ecology, community engagement, and sustainability, by:
- Creating fun opportunities to connect with youth in our community
- Collaborating with established programs and organizations that engage youth
- Participating in schools through established curricula and health education programs
- Ensure the stability and longevity of Franklinton Gardens by developing a permanent real estate presence in Franklinton for both food production and housing, seeking to become a national service program sponsor, and finding funding to support our goals
- Receive 501(c)(3) tax exempt status from the IRS
HOW WE WILL ENGAGE WITH OUR COMMUNITY
We will continue to openly, continuously communicate with our community. We respect and value the knowledge and resources of our neighbors. We are dedicated to nurturing pride within Franklinton as we share food, help others garden, and support volunteer opportunities.
HOW PEOPLE WILL KNOW ABOUT US
We intend to get loud through a focused re-branding and marketing campaign. We will connect with local organizations, tell our story, increase awareness of our organization and the importance of eating healthy food, and raise funds by:
- Continuing to engage with our neighbors
- Proactively reaching out to people who do not have digital access
- Expanding our use of social media to connect with individuals, local organizations, and funders
Approved by the Board of Directors 9/18/14