One of the best parts of our work at The FruitGuys Community Fund is seeing how the farmers make changes with their grants. Recently we got the chance to catch up with Rishi of Sarvodaya Farm, a nonprofit farming educational program in Pomona, CA and one of our 2017 grantees. Rishi and his mother Manju, the farm’s founders, created the farm with community as the primary focus. Along with their farmer training program they hope to inspire others to get involved with urban farming and gardening.
As a FruitGuys Community Fund grantee, Sarvodaya Farm received a $4,996 grant to help them plant native perennial hedgerows along the outside of their farm. These native hedgerows were designed to create habitat for beneficial insects and pollinators. Rishi says that like many of the farms other projects this will be a “mutually beneficial integration.” The pollinators and other insects receive a helping hand and in turn they help to pollinate the Sarvodaya gardens and keep pest pressure down.
Since receiving their grant, Sarvodaya Farm has been able to plant 32 fruit trees and are working on planting perennials beneath them. According to Rishi, even though the plants are still young they’ve already seen an increase in bird and insect diversity on the farm. He also expects the plants to really take off once the cooler, rainy season hits. They also plan to use part of their grant to work on their farmer training program. Rishi says that they want to create a curriculum which focuses on native plants and people.
Sarvodaya Farm is proof that small farms can make big impacts. They always do the best they can to help their community and they environment. Be sure to watch the video to learn more about the incredible work going on at Sarvodaya Farm and the progress they’ve made as a FruitGuys Community Fund grantee.