It was a gorgeous day on Friday, November 2 — a great day to be outdoors. Plus we had a good excuse with an appointment to take our staff photo at Jones Valley Teaching Farm.
With rows of fall vegetables in the background and the shade from a gracious tree above, we lined up and smiled for the camera. We also got a quick recap from Gus Heard-Hughes about a partnership that dates back almost a decade.
In 2003, the Community Foundation was an early supporter of what was then called Jones Valley Urban Farm, which was just beginning its work to educate young people about food and promote urban food production. In 2007, our support of a Nutrition Coordinator position helped Jones Valley put the Seed2Plate program into action, giving young boys and girls the chance for hands-on experience in growing and eating fresh foods.
Our grant in 2009 to the Growing Together program helped to provide community garden training for adults, inspiring many urban gardens across our region.
In 2011, we made a grant for Good School Food, which has already increased the number of locally sourced items in 53 Birmingham City Schools from 1 or 2 per year to eight per month. In addition, 90 percent of cafeteria managers in the system have received training in healthy foods, including local food sources and nutrition guidelines. Jones Valley Teaching Farm also has begun a promising partnership with Glen Iris Elementary, another outgrowth of our partnership to make our community a place where people can lead healthy lives.
Stay tuned for more from this great partner and a complete look at our staff photo, which we will add to the website soon. And thanks to Jones Valley Teaching Farm for sharing your space with us!