Building Community Through Food
photo by Charlotta Harris
With the objective of enhancing the knowledge, skills, and nourishment of its participants, the Bloom Community Farm strives to engage a thoughtful community from diverse social and economic backgrounds.
Bloom Community Farm cultivates connections: our connection to the land, to one another, and the connection between plant and plate. This common ground is a space where everyone in the community is invited to contribute.
Volunteer for Veggies
photo by Karen Bossick
Volunteer for Veggies provides access to fresh, healthy food for everyone in the community.
Volunteers take home a share of the farm freshest, nutrient richest, most delicious fruits and veggies around in exchange for their time at Bloom Community Farm or The Hope Garden.
Time on the farm is spent seeding, weeding, and harvesting our growing spaces and we reward all volunteers with a share of produce fresh out of the ground.
In its first season, 229 local community members came out to volunteer for veggies and together helped harvest an incredible 8,670 pounds of fresh fruits and veggies that went home with volunteers and youth interns, filled our food pantry shelves, and enhanced our children’s food program lunches.
Volunteer for Veggies will be back in session June 2018. For more information, call us at 208-788-0121
Bloom Youth Project
Bloom Youth Project is about coming together around food, hard work, and fun. From April through October of 2017, interns learned how to grow fruits and vegetables at Bloom Community Farm and at The Hope Garden. Interns and farm staff worked alongside each other planting, harvesting, weeding and tending to the land to keep the farm producing food for the community. With garden classes and work days under their belts, interns became the experts as the season unfolded and led farm tours to people who visited the farm. Interns also designed and operated a mobile market in partnership with Bloom Truck to provide lunches to children and sold farm produce to seniors and community members. Finally, interns managed the planning and cooking of daily meals to feast on together, and completed several team building, life skills, and enrichment activities.
We are extremely proud of the first Bloom Youth graduates who excelled in the program and are destined to make a big difference in their community! Thank you and congrats to Ciera, Savannah, Diego, Tania, Matt, Blade, Peter, and Maryanna!
Thanks too to the generous support of donors who made this tremendous growth possible.
Thank you, Friends of the Farm!
Partnerships are essential to the continued expansion of food production and programming at Bloom Farm, supporting the health and well-being of all community members and their families.
Without our Friends of the Farm, Bloom would still be a blank canvas. Instead, this summer it has produced over 3,500 lbs of fresh fruits and veggies and growing – it also provides transformational experiences for local children, teens, and adults.
Thank you to the following Friends of the Farm for helping cultivate change and growth for our entire community:
Platinum = Clearwater Landscaping, U of I Extension, Blaine County, WOW Students
Gold = Dark to Light Productions
Silver = Kearsage Lodge Antiques, Quigley Farms, Taylor Made Woodworks
Bronze = Idaho Lumber
Together, we’ll Grow
Bloom Farm will help kids better understand the roots of their food and form deeper connections to their neighbors. It will advance food production programs and unite organizations to further grow the local quality of life. It will have important impacts on local food affordability and availability.
Modeled on successful programs across the country, such as Volunteering for Veggies, Discount Mobile Markets for seniors, and sliding scale Community Supported Agriculture, Bloom Community Farm is helping The Hunger Coalition develop new programs to meet the changing needs of individuals and families in Blaine County.
“These types of programs provide multiple avenues for community members to access the healthy food they deserve,” said Lynea Petty, Food Production Manager at The Hunger Coalition.
Bloom is located in Quigley Canyon, east of Hailey. The Farm kicked off as a half-acre pilot program and will increase to 1 ½ acres in subsequent years thanks to Quigley Farm, who is leasing the land for $1 per year to The Hunger Coalition. Everyone is encouraged to grab a shovel or a camera, a friend or a pitchfork and get out to experience Bloom in your own way.
From the Community Food Assessment, The Hunger Coalition learned that inability to afford food due to a suite of high living expenses, coupled with overwhelming stigma about accessing food assistance, is preventing families from getting the healthy foods they need to thrive. We researched models from around the country that help address these issues and are excited to start a community farm to provide multiple avenues for community members to access the healthy food they deserve.
We broke ground and built a half-acre pilot program with the potential to expand into a critical core program for The Hunger Coalition in the coming years.
What – Bloom Community Farm initiatives:
1. Youth Development: working with partner organizations to provide vulnerable kids an avenue to build life skills while participating in food production. Youth-focused growing programs will help to develop resiliency, foster life skills, and teach coping mechanisms to help our local youth blossom into healthy, contributing community members. We are dedicated to supporting local youth, recognizing that children have the potential to break the cycle of poverty.
2. Community Farm: food production supporting the health and well-being of community members and their families through a variety of proven distribution models such as Volunteering for Veggies, discount Mobile Markets for seniors, and sliding scale Community Supported Agriculture. These types of programs provide multiple avenues for struggling community members to access the healthy food they deserve.
“The Bloom Community Farm hopes to nurture our community by bringing people together in a family-friendly environment and to connect with the land. It’s a ‘good for you place’, providing a gathering place for community members to meet around food, get their hands dirty, and get back to the basics of growing food.”
–Naomi Spence, Associate Director.
Get Involved and Join Us!
Bloom Community Farm VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES – We have multiple opportunities for you to get your hands in the dirt and make a difference! Contact Rachel Shinn at firstname.lastname@example.org or (208) 788-0121
Bloom Community Farm WISH LIST – Don’t have time but still want to support our efforts? Help us outfit the farm!
We are seeking Bloom Community Farm “Friends of the Farm” Business Sponsorships. Are you a business that could offer a cash donation or in-kind donation to help Bloom Community Farm? We need your help for this community farm to thrive!