On May 25 2017 on a vacant lot on West San Carlos Street in downtown San Jose, we opened our brand new Community Greenhouse, San Jose’s first first seedlings to table project nestled in the heart of the city. We were able to transform an empty lot into a community growing space after City Council passed an ordinance in December 2016 granting tax incentives to landowners who allow their property to be used for urban agriculture.
While it will take us some time to get fully settled on the new site, we are still running all of our core programs, including the Home Gardening Program and Deep Roots. The new Community Greenhouse is a key part of our mission and this new space we’ll give us the opportunity to strengthen our programs and deepen our impact into the community, by growing an increasing variety and volume of culturally-relevant vegetable seedlings. We will distribute the greenhouse seedlings to the families who are enrolled in the Home Gardening Program, and sell the rest to the greater community. The plants we provide further community resilience and sustainability by helping to alleviate hunger and food insecurity, promoting community health and building on our mission to support low-income communities in growing and sharing their own food. We also plan to strengthen our community education and engagement, which has been always woven into everything we do, including yearly free workshops and classes, planting demonstrations at our new space,and hands-on learning opportunities for mentors and for volunteers.
Since our opening in 2012, more than 280 low-income families have already benefited from our programs. We hope that this new site will give us the opportunity to further grow, as we are eager to connect with our new community and we welcome our neighbor residents, families and children and just curious visitors to our future programs and social events.
Please stay in touch with us to see what’s happening next at Valley Verde for our new community.
Let’s grow together!