Hi! We are Gina Chilton and Clifton Parris. I am a certified Square Foot Gardening specialist and my cohort Clifton, is a community development specialist and agriculturist. We met in Jamaica, W.I. 15 years ago whereby I joined his team in the agriculture sector teaching farming best practices and we helped spread the word of the Square Foot Gardening method throughout the island. What we realized was that we shared a passion for food security and that we made a pretty good team. And as such, we would like to continue to share not only our love of growing food, the easy way, but to also share our expertise with those here in the Denver area, especially those suffering from a food desert in their neighborhoods. We call it our Square Foot 2 Square Meal campaign. But we need your help . . .
While twiddling our green thumbs during this life threatening covid-19 virus pandemic, we noticed how so many people were suffering with food insecurity and/or homelessness. One in ten Coloradans are suffering from food insecurities and have to look to food banks to help provide for their families. And housing? All of us have seen the increase in homelessness that it’s become a city-wide/state-wide concern. Yet one group, the Colorado Village Cooperative (https://www.coloradovillagecollaborative.org) was actually doing something about one of the issues: Homelessness. They have built 19 tiny homes in the Globeville area of Denver and have empowered marginalized folk by bridging the gap between the streets and stable housing. And they are in the process of building a 14 unit Women’s compound to open in the late fall. Their story is so inspiring that Clifton and I decided to reach out and offer our expertise and passion for growing food, because we think a vegetable garden is the logical next step once housing is secured. The Colorado Village Cooperative were ecstatic to have us onboard and are excited to implement our idea for the residents. We believe that food security is as essential as housing and we aim to help show others how easy it is to provide food for themselves. And to do this we will be teaching the Square Foot Gardening (SFG) methodology, a simple and efficient gardening method which uses 80% less space, water, time, money and energy, to the residents. We will also be providing elevated 3’ x 3’ x 6” Square Foot Gardens (gardens on stilts!), with soil we will make, seeds and all the items needed for the garden to go right by the front door so as to encourage engagement and a sense of accomplishment. Not only is this garden efficient and easy to maintain, it’s also pretty, and prolific. Gosh, housing and food security, two basic needs met.
So the goal is to teach the SFG methodology to residents and install six of the elevated SFGs in the tiny home village in Globeville, and 14 in the women’s compound currently being built. We will also be providing on-going support during the growing season to be sure of success, as well as showing the residents how to compost, which will help with sustainability of their new SFGs for years to come. We have been busy organizing all the supplies for our project to be implemented, the seeds are on their way, supplies have been purchased, that we are almost ready to roll it out. We have engaged Brian Fuder, the only recognized Square Foot Garden builder by the Square Foot Gardening Foundation (https://www.squarefootgardening.org) to build us the 20 elevated gardens.
Brian’s company, Square Foot Gardening For the Red River Valley, https://www.sfgrrv.com has generously offered a discount on the elevated SFGs, and any profit he makes will go to Semper Fi & America’s Fund. So now, all we need is your help to fund this awesome project.
As with many projects, we considered funding this ourselves, yet the goal is to share the simple and easy gardening method with as many people in the Denver community as possible and to get you all involved. We aim to show a way to reduce food insecurity, to bring awareness of a solution to homelessness, and to provide a way to be part of a well deserved community.
So why not adopt an SFG and a resident? For a mere $300 you can provide a complete garden system for one tiny home! That’s it! And we will provide a plaque with your name on the SFG as a donor. But if that’s not in your budget, any contribution will be most appreciated. And remember, any donation you make will go straight to the project, because Clifton and I are volunteering our services; we feel it’s that important to share an awesome and much needed system for growing your own food in these unprecedented times. Yet we will need $6175 to implement the project for both tiny home villages. Here’s the breakdown:
The $6175 we hope to earn will pay for:
$3880 for 20 elevated Square Foot Gardening units (3’x3’x6”) - includes shipping costs
$745 for Soil - Vermiculite, Blended Compost and Peat Moss
$404 for Supplies (hand shovels, tarps, trellis, buckets, garden fork, shovel)
$840 for Seeds and live plants
$131 for Printed material
$175 for Crowdfunding Fees
We will be providing the six SFG units to the Globeville community of tiny homes as soon as possible to be able to use the late growing season to grow cool weather crops and to get the project rolling - just waiting for a few supplies . . .
That total is: $1830.00
For the Spring, and the 14 SFG units to the Women’s compound we will need the remainder.
That total is: $4345
If we reach our goal we will have the means to help those most needy find food security, the easy way.
Other Ways You Can Help
1. Help us spread the word. Use this link to share on social media and email
2. Donate your time and come and join us on the day to install and set up the SFGs at the tiny home village, and learn the SFG method for yourselves. I will keep everyone posted on when we do the Phase One install - Get ready, installation is soon - hopefully by the end of August 2020. Phase Two will be in early spring 2021, stay tuned.
3. Support the Colorado Village Cooperative directly: https://www.coloradovillagecollaborative.org they are empowering communities and enacting change and are worthy of our support.
Thank you so much for all your support. Every donation counts. We would not be able to complete this empowering project without it! Let’s grow!
- Teresa Chilton
- Shiena Warner
- Linda Maikowski
- Teri Thompson
- Allison Parks
Fundraising team (2)
Raised $275 from 4 donations