Within this pandemic, food insecurity is skyrocketing. Food pantry lines are stretching to heart-wrenching lengths. Across the country, every under-resourced neighborhood is suffering this devastating effect.
And everywhere – just a neighborhood away from a food pantry – many who are far luckier, but still Staying at Home, have turned to edible gardening in their yards. The boom in home-based edible gardening taps into the want to turn over the soil, feel the sun and see something hopeful grow. That something hopeful could grow to be a vegetable plant in a container, which finds its way to a family in a food pantry line – just a neighborhood away.
While these plants alone won’t serve to feed families, this neighbor-to-neighbor program both contributes to supplementing families’ immediate and future food needs with on-going, fresh, nutritious produce, and also nurtures new gardeners, who undoubtedly will experience the satisfaction and pride of growing some of their own food. All of this leads to greater community connection and resilience.
what is getstarted?
getstarted collaborates with communities from start to finish.
Once we determine the types of edible plants the local, under-resourced community would most like to grow and their growing conditions, we mobilize enthusiastic home gardeners by setting them up with complimentary edible plant “Start Kits”—including seed packets, small containers, soil and guidance. They sow and tend while Mother Nature provides 4-6 weeks of sunshine. We connect with a local partner who can host both the pick up and return of the Start Kits and assist with identifying distribution sites. The established plant Start Kits are then shared, free of charge, with neighboring under-resourced families at nearby food pantries, along with plant care instructions and information on other local food resources.
While the program depends on local growing seasons and conditions, one of our hopes is to promote increased knowledge of, and interest in, year-round edible gardening, and as a result, year-round community resilience and civic engagement.
There is no cost to participate, either as a home gardener “Starter” or recipient “Grower.” getstarted relies on collaboration and product donation from communities and partners supporting the proven concept and happy results.
who is getstarted?
Susan Duncan and Cara Storm met while serving as Executive and Marketing Directors in San Francisco’s visual arts community. Since then, they’ve shared many a table and swapped many a story about both their gardening and life adventures. Given their on-going volunteerism and board service over the years in areas including education and food insecurity, launching getstarted was a natural progression of their backgrounds, values and friendship.
co-founder | susan g. duncan
With distinct expertise in arts management, grantmaking and fundraising, organizational planning and board development, Susan has been a management consultant in the non-profit sector for the last 20 years, capping successive executive director roles with prominent Bay Area performing and visual arts organizations, including Aurora Theatre Company, Chanticleer and California Shakespeare Theater. Susan has significant know-how in bringing creative ideas to fruition, securing financial support and crafting partnerships. She also delights in sharing her bounty of zucchini and summer squash starts and produce with friends and neighbors.
co-founder & director | cara storm
For over fifteen years, Cara has increased visibility, attendance, revenues and long-term sustainability for her marketing and communications consulting firm’s clients, with projects focused on strategy, creative campaigns, media sponsorships, partnerships and events. Clients consist of an array of arts and cultural organizations, including Art Market Productions, the Conservatory of Flowers, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco Botanical Garden and SFMOMA. Friends aware of her joy for edible gardening have suggested she set up Cara’s Corn Cam, though this year’s strawberries and tomatoes are giving that category stiff competition.
publicist | nina sazevich
Nina has been a freelance publicist working with museums, arts groups, gardens and other non-profit organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2002. Prior to starting her consulting business, she worked for 10 years in education and communications at one of the Bay Area's children's museums. Nina's volunteer work has included serving as Board President and Vice President for organizations supporting the arts, disabilities and at risk youth. She is currently enjoying a first-time bumper crop harvest of a plum tree she grew from seed.
volunteer extraordinaire | emma logan
Emma is an artist and educator with a passion for agriculture, food security and community. Prior to her current work as a ceramics teacher, she worked in nonprofit administration for over fifteen years. Emma came to getstarted as a volunteer in the pilot run and is now helping to expand the educational side of the program. As the days start to heat up, so too, does the seedling heat pad under Emma's tomato plants from seed she saved last year.
social media maven | mackenzie brown
Mackenzie is a nutrition and food security enthusiast. She has worked as a certified Fitness and Nutrition Coach for the past 7 years, and is currently a Promotions Coordinator for several Bay Area-based artists. She has experience both working and volunteering with Meal Exchange, Food Runners, Redwood Empire Food Bank, and Petaluma Bounty. Mack loves to garden "because growing your own food IS food security - it also reduces waste and pollution, improves mental health and just TASTES better!"
who helped us
Thank you to the many other people and businesses who have helped bring this vision to fruition.
Inspiration and Tenacity: Ralph D’Amato
Consultant: Erik D. Hanson
Graphic Design: DeAnne Olguin Williamson