Last year, The FruitGuys Community Fund was able to support three small farms in an amended 2021 grant cycle. Despite funding setbacks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, grants totaling nearly $15,000 were awarded to farms and agricultural nonprofits on the East coast, West coast, and South/Central regions of the U.S. for environmental sustainability projects. We’ve just received their interim updates, and in spite of the ongoing pandemic, these farms and organizations have done some incredible work!
The 2021 Grantees
- Sankofa Community Farm at Bartram’s Garden located in Southwest Philadelphia, PA
- Petaluma Bounty is a multifaceted community food security initiative that includes the Bounty Community Farm in Petaluma, CA
- 4MG Farm is a veteran-owned and operated family farm located in Sanger, TX
Interim Project Updates
Sankofa Community Farm
Sankofa Community Farm at Bartram’s Garden in Southwest Philadelphia, PA. The garden fosters a deep relationship with the land and provides increased access to fresh fruits and vegetables to the community, especially the older African Americans and new West African immigrants who are making Southwest Philadelphia their home. More neighbors than ever before have been able to take full advantage of the garden’s riverfront, living classroom, and space for outdoor respite.
Sankofa received a $5,000 grant to enhance their pollinator plantings, beehive maintenance, and related youth educational programming. So far, they have maintained nine beehives in partnership with the Pennsylvania State Beekeepers Association and increased their pollinator habitat with a collection of 30 new plants. In addition, they had 1,500 attendees for their annual Honey Fest in partnership with the Philadelphia Beekeepers Guild. Development Manager, June Mansfield, told us, “support from The FruitGuys Community Fund has been pivotal in allowing us to continue providing these vital programs to our community, which is filled with the next generation of growers, educators, and entrepreneurs, who will help shape the future of Philadelphia.”
4MG Farm, an 11-acre family farm located in Sanger, TX, was started by Kevin and Christina Via in 2017. 4MG is a community-driven, regenerative farm. Focused on biodiversity and holistic methods of growing in soil to produce a self-sustaining ecosystem, the farm provides beyond-organic food and educates the public about the benefits of a pasture-raised animal operation.
4MG received a $5,000 grant to convert their well to a 100% solar well for irrigation, pasture management, and high tunnel management. So far, they’ve purchased and installed all the lines to bring the well water to where they need it. They have also secured the solar-powered equipment and pump and are just waiting to get the old pump removed before installing the new one at the end of February, 2022.
Petaluma Bounty, a community food security initiative that includes the Bounty Community Farm in Petaluma, CA, is a 3-acre urban educational farm that grows sustainable, local food for low-income families, seniors, and individuals.
Bounty Farm received a $4,995 grant to purchase supplies to add chickens to their fruit and vegetable operation. Petaluma Bounty had some changes in staffing that slightly postponed kicking off their projects. They have hence hired a new teammate and have begun sourcing and purchasing the supplies needed to build a chicken coop. They expect the chickens to be on site by April 2022.
Follow these grantees and other alumni by following The FruitGuys Community Fund. The 2021 grantees will share final highlights from their sustainability projects in July 2022.
2022 Grant Cycle is Open
If you know a small, independent farmer or agricultural non-profit, let them know we are currently accepting 2022 grant applications until January 31, 2022. We look forward to supporting another group of hard-working, indispensable farmers and their communities.