At our Garden Planting class at the Food Literacy Project’s farm at the end of April, gardeners took home seeds and starts for their gardens and after a lovely discussion, they practiced planting techniques on a larger scale. Everyone was especially excited about the strawberry starts, and we have been loving watching the ones planted at the farm thrive in their new environment! Gardeners took home a lovely variety of cucumber, squash, green bean, corn, beet and carrot seeds, and collard greens, tomato, pepper, eggplant, marigold and herb starts, among others. They continue to share photos of their growing spaces, and reach out for troubleshooting support, and they’ll be joining us at the end of this month for our class focusing on Garden Maintenance, where they’ll be able to take home even more seeds and starts. Even though it’s just May, it feels like we’re well into our season!

Several days before our garden planting class, Food Literacy Project staff and participants in our Youth Community Agriculture Program worked alongside Kayla and Steph from the Grow Appalachia team to repair a backyard high tunnel. This was a really exciting opportunity to build skills and was impactful for the whole crew. YCAPers got more comfortable using a power drill, practiced maneuvering wiggle wire, and learned tips for pulling greenhouse plastic. These skills are already serving them and the community as several participants will be helping to set up a greenhouse at a community garden next week! More than one YCAP crew member is already dreaming of setting up a high tunnel of their own sometime soon.

May has already been a busy month! It’s been especially charged due to the Mayor of Louisville’s proposed budget for FY2024-25 which included significant cuts to the Soil and Water Conservation District and the Jefferson County Extension Agency, that would result in the Extension Agency closing and the Conservation District operating on a shoestring budget. These entities offer tremendously important support to our community with natural resource management, soil tests, 4H camps, public land restoration, and much more, but also because they channel federal funds into our city that we could not otherwise receive. The impact on urban agriculture in Louisville would be severe. Additionally, although he previously expressed support for the work of the Food Literacy Project, the Mayor included $0 of the $1 million request for capital support for the purchase of land of our own. Tenant status has been the biggest obstacle to the sustainability of our work and limits our literal and metaphorical ability to plant deeper roots in our community. A partner in this work, Change Today, Change Tomorrow, was also denied their funding request. In this time of uncertainty, gardeners, community farm coordinators, food justice, food access and farm-based nonprofits, and people who care about a just and equitable food system for Louisville banded together to request that Metro Council reject these detrimental cuts and instead fund health and safety by supporting access to healthful food, land, and opportunities to grow and connect.

While some folks don’t see the value of food, farming, and the land, the Food Literacy Project is so grateful to be growing with home gardeners who want to live into these values deeply! We’re proud to work alongside community members and young people as they discover their ability to make a difference with each seed planted, and each time their use their voices to stand up for what they believe.

The Davis Family Garden!

Two YCAP crew members work on securing the fresh greenhouse plastic and water catchment system.


Strawberries are on the way!

Garden Grant participants work alongside Gabriella ‘Green Bean” to plant strawberries!