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The Voices of Healdsburg by Merrilyn Joyce — February — 2020

By Carolyn A. Lewis

Backyards support dignity, health & climate?

Tiny Farms are starting to spring up in Healdsburg and neighbors are volunteering their time. Your Tiny Farm was started because many people do not have access to affordable, healthy food. Urban agriculture helps to correct this by providing healthy food by eliminating the middleman and increasing the opportunity for community members in need to participate in the growing of this food.

Homelessness is among the most urgent social crises of our time. And while it’s true that there are many organizations and programs are working to meet the growing need, it’s not enough. We believe that we will never end homelessness by pointing our fingers and waiting for someone else to solve it: government, nonprofits, religious institutions. We believe, we will only end homelessness when each of us gets involved. When we open our lives in big and small ways to the most vulnerable among us. provides a tangible solution that is also an invitation to come closer and to open our hearts. By doing this, it uniquely builds our collective compassion and capacity for all of the needed solutions.

We currently have three active gardens in Healdsburg and Cloverdale with several others in the planning stages.We deliver baskets of fruit, vegetables and our very own fresh eggs to those in transitional housing and those without shelter. We involve our clients in the gardening process together with our volunteers and compensate them for their time, giving them a purpose and dignity.

Gardening helps people develop a lasting habit of eating enough fruits and vegetables and makes them more conscious of their daily diet. The unsheltered have a terrible lack of access to good nutrition. Much of the food served at shelters is unhealthy based on lack of funds and access to fresh ingredients.

Urban farming is a way to insure that vacant land gets used in a purposeful way and that no viable space goes to waste. Urban farming can also increase social bonds and networks among neighbors and the people who participate in farming.

Urban farming can support the environment. Plants and soil help sequester carbon. Applying compost to our gardens, and tilling less helps pull carbon out of the air and diverts food waste from the landfill, keeping methane (one of the most potent greenhouse gases) out of the atmosphere.

At Your Tiny Farm we have made many new friends in the community. As we continue to grow, we hope that people will spread the word about our work and that others will consider letting us farm their unused garden plots. An additional benefit is a beautiful farm to watch grow right in your backyard. There is a universal reciprocity and exchange that those of us who farm see laid out on a daily basis. We know every living thing we engage with requires some form of nourishment, including our unsheltered friends.

We support ourselves through donations and we welcome your contributions be they financial or through volunteering time. We hope to replicate our Tiny Farms over and over again in our local communities and continue our event success. Please visit for more information and reach out to us if you would like to help our farms grow or contact us directly by emailing .

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