Jones Valley Teaching Farm has launched its Ready to Grow campaign to raise money to complete The Center for Food Education, a community hub to be built on its downtown teaching farm.
The multiuse facility, tentatively slated to open this summer, will allow the farm to reach more students, teachers and surrounding community members to create a hub around food, education, health and youth employment.
The center will position Birmingham as a national leader and model for food-based education and workforce development, according to a statement issued by the farm.
The Ready to Grow campaign is designed to engage the Birmingham community in outfitting the center with the tools it needs and to allow residents to invest in the farm’s mission through tangible donations.
Anchoring the campaign launch is the debut of the farm’s Ready to Grow website, found at ready2grow.org. Donors can browse the website’s online catalog and choose to donate funds toward specific items, such as fruit trees for the orchard, appliances for the culinary studio or tables for the greenhouse.
Items range in price from $25 to $2,000, and donors may give a gift of any amount to support the center’s greatest needs. The Ready to Grow public campaign aims to raise $200,000 to support completion of the Center.
“Our 5-year dream to build our future – The Center for Food Education – is now a reality thanks to the support of our many partners,” said Jones Valley Teaching Farm Executive Director Amanda Storey. “However, it takes a village to build out the entirety of this project. We now are calling on our Birmingham neighbors to help us bring the center to completion by filling the classrooms, gardens and learning areas.
“Our goal is for this center to serve Birmingham as a whole, and we are inviting our fellow community members to be part of this future from the start, in whatever way they can,” she continued.
The center, at 701 25th St. N in downtown Birmingham, will accommodate daily field trips and Good School Food instruction, community gardening and culinary programming, quality and affordable fresh produce, increased employment and training opportunities for graduates of Birmingham City Schools, and professional development and training for teachers.
For more information about Jones Valley Teaching Farm, visit jvtf.org.