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 sheltering in place, have turned to edible gardening in their yards. The boon 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 joys 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, 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 distribution. 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.
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. 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.
director | cara storm
For over fifteen years, Cara has raised visibility, increased attendance and revenues, and contributed to long-term sustainability and growth for her marketing and communications consulting firm’s arts and cultural organization clients. Clients include museums, art fairs, parks departments, botanical gardens, libraries and performing arts, with projects focused on strategic marketing and communications, media planning and sponsorships, promotional partnerships and event planning. 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 Sazevich 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, Sazevich worked for 10 years in education and communications at one of the Bay Area's children's museums. Her 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.
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