Hello Farm to Fork Friends!
If you’re one of the many people who has taken up gardening recently, this month’s newsletter is for you. We’ve got gardening resources, activities for kids, and cheap seeds! Need help or want to share your successes? Send us an email or find us on Instagram @utfarm2fork. We also have a LOT of large grant opportunities this month, so if shutdowns have you dreaming big about a new project, scroll on down to the end and figure out how to get it funded!
What to Harvest this Month
Radishes are ready! As are salad turnips and a variety of greens, from kale and arugula to fancy salad mixes and pak choi. Make yourself a refreshing spring salad, with crunchy vegetables, spicy greens, and fresh herbs, and look for strawberries towards the end of the month.
Weekly Gatherings: School Garden Support Organization Network
The School Garden Support Organization Network is hosting weekly virtual gatherings on topics related to supporting school gardens during closures and social distancing. Access resources and register for the gatherings here. The next gathering is scheduled for 12 pm Mountain Time on May 6, 2020.
Plant Your Own Garden
Seed Programs International offers bulk quantities of basic fruit and vegetable seeds at a discounted price for humanitarian purposes. For nonprofits or schools operating in the US, they're able to offer the discounted price of $.25 per packet (for up to 1200 packets—that’s a lot of seeds!).
Webinars and Trainings
SEEDS Gardening Activities for Kids Gro More Good Learning Activities is a series of 72 free lessons focused on the four seasons of a garden. Each activity is fun, hands-on and perfect for getting your kids outside, exploring and learning. The activities are based on early childhood education best practices and developed in partnership with the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center. View the resource here.
Will Covid-19 Finally Convince Us to Do Better by Farmworkers?
COVID-19 is causing many people to realize for the first time just how essential farmworkers are—but what sometimes still goes unspoken is that we have a food system in this country dependent on immigrant laborers who lack political power and equal rights. Farm work is one of the most dangerous occupations, but many laws on economic relief, health, and labor exempt farmworkers from their protections. Zocalo Public Square recently hosted a panel discussion on how to make farm work healthier. You can read a summary of the discussion here. We’d love to know your thoughts.
Fundraising, Communications, and Evaluation Expert, BioDynamic Association, Remote
The Biodynamic Association (BDA) works to nurture the North American biodynamic movement as a diverse, collaborative, and thriving ecosystem. We help thousands of people understand and practice biodynamics, bringing health to the land and vitality to the food system, and build bridges and partnerships to deepen and evolve the movement toward regenerative agriculture and social justice. We are seeking someone with a passion for fundraising, communications, and evaluation to join our team full-time. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Learn more and apply here.
UDAF Financial Relief Funding
Utah Department of Agriculture and Food is offering grants of up to $40,000 each to Utah food and fiber producers who have suffered economic injury due to COVID-19. The application will be posted on [ag.utah.gov]ag.utah.gov as early as today and no later than next week. You can prepare by listing out your income and expenses for the past 12 months, and writing a statement explaining the financial impact COVID-19 has had on your operation.
National Farm to School Network COVID-19 Relief Fund
Any organization working to support farm to fork efforts is eligible to apply for NFSN’s COVID-19 relief fund, with priority being given to current NFSN Core and Supporting Partners, as well as organizations serving American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian populations within urban, rural and tribal jurisdictions. Applications are due May 10, 2020. Learn more and apply here.
Siggi’s yogurt is providing three grants of $20,000 each to help get a community nutrition idea off the ground or help amplify an existing program. Applicants must be registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) or dietetic technicians registered (DTRs) at the time the grant is awarded. Applications are due May 11, 2020, so don’t delay. Learn more and apply here.
Emergency School Nutrition Funding
GENYOUth is providing grants of up to $3,000 per school to supply resources for meal distribution and delivery efforts to get food to students during COVID-19, including soft-sided coolers, bags and containers for individual servings, and protective gear for food service sanitation and safety. Applications will be reviewed and approved on a rolling basis. Learn more and apply here.
Farmers Market Promotion Program
USDA Agricultural Marketing Service’s Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) funds projects that develop, coordinate and expand direct producer-to-consumer markets to help increase access to and availability of locally and regionally produced agricultural products. Applications are due May 26, 2020. Learn more and apply here.
Regional Food System Partnerships
USDA Agricultural Marketing Service’s Regional Food System Partnerships (RFSP) program supports partnerships that connect public and private resources to plan and develop local or regional food systems. Applications are due May 26, 2020. Learn more and apply here.
Native American Agriculture Fund (NAAF)
NAAF is a private, charitable trust serving Native farmers and ranchers through strategic grantmaking. Grants are available to eligible grant recipients in the mission areas of business assistance, agricultural education, technical support and advocacy services. NAFF will also be accepting applications across four special emphasis areas: Traditional Foods and Food Sovereignty; Advocacy; Agriculture Extension; and Youth (available in a separate application process). Applications are due June 1, 2020. Learn more and apply here.
NIFA Community Food Projects (CFP) Competitive Grants Program
The USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is accepting grant applications for projects that increase food security in communities by bringing the whole food system together to assess strengths, establish linkages, and create systems that improve the self-reliance of community members over their food needs. Public food program service providers, tribal organizations, or private nonprofit entities, including gleaners are eligible to apply. Award amounts range from $35,000-$400,000. Applications are due June 3, 2020. Learn more and apply here.
NIFA Agricultural and Food Research Initiative: COVID-19 Rapid Response Program Area
NIFA also recently added a program area to its main Agricultural and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) RFA. There are four areas of priority: Health and Security of Livestock; Well-being of Farm, Food Service Providers, and Rural Americans; Economic Security; and Food Safety. Applicants should focus on critical and urgent research, extension, or integrated solutions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts on the nation’s food and agricultural system. Applications should include strategies and knowledge that can be rapidly implemented to minimize or eliminate COVID-19 impacts on the nation’s food and agricultural system. Applications for COVID response projects are due June 4, 2020. Learn more and apply here.
USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program
The USDA is exercising authority under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to purchase and distribute up to $3 billion of agricultural products to those in need. Agricultural Marketing Service’s Commodity Procurement Program will procure an estimated $100 million per month in fresh fruits and vegetables, $100 million per month in a variety of dairy products, and $100 million per month in meat products. The distributors and wholesalers will then provide a pre-approved box of fresh produce, dairy, and meat products to food banks, community and faith-based organizations, and other non-profits serving Americans in need. Learn more here.