Since Est. 2012
Valley Verde (VV), founded in 2012, assists Silicon Valley’s low-income residents in growing organic vegetables in their own yards. Our mission is to promote the widespread cultivation of organic home vegetable gardens to encourage healthier eating and address food insecurity in Santa Clara Valley.
Since the launch of our program in 2012, more than 280 families have enrolled. These families receive raised beds, soil, compost, drip irrigation systems, seedlings, seeds, and training on gardening and nutrition—all entirely free of cost. Our objective is to enroll 5,000 low-income families (impacting 18,000 people) by 2022.
Opposing sets of trends have created an opportune climate for the scaling of VV. Silicon Valley’s low-income communities, which consist primarily of multi-ethnic and majority immigrants of Latino and Asian origin who struggle with limited resources and education. Classified as “working underprivileged,” many lack access to healthy organic vegetables. Their high rates of food insecurity are exacerbated by the recovering economy and the high cost of living here in Silicon Valley. When a community cannot access healthy fresh produce, the results are alarming increases in obesity and diabetes.
Elsewhere, rising interest in healthy lifestyles, green living, and locally produced foods have heightened awareness of the importance of fresh, local, organic fruits and vegetables. But until now, participants in sustainable food and organic gardening efforts have been largely white, wealthy, and educated. VV is challenging this pattern by teaching skills and self-determination to low-income families while providing them new access to healthy produce. VV aims to connect the efforts of communities that are already enthusiastic about all things local, organic, and green to the growing numbers of Santa Clara County residents facing daily food insecurity.
Valley Verde’s Community Food System involves three linked program components:
- Organic home gardening
- Our Deep Roots mentoring program
- And Our Super Jardineros Project, that trains families to grow seedlings backyard greenhouses in order to generate income, to learn greenhouse skills, and to manage a microenterprise.
We are developing a community-based food system from seed to table that challenges entrenched issues of food insecurity and dependence on mainstream food resources.