Seedleaf cultivates 11 free u-pick community gardens throughout Fayette County's food deserts. These are areas deemed by the USDA to have problematic access to fresh local food. Seedleaf also picks up compost at 35 area restaurants and kitchens through our Compost Partners Program, a partnership with the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government's Division of Waste Management. Additionally we have a home compost pick-up program called Compost Carpool. We have 69 local lexington residents enrolled. Our mission is primarily geared toward promoting self-suffiency by growing growers. We provide adult and youth education opportunities through the following:
SEEDS- a summer program that works with youth, 11-14, during the summer months of June and July. Youth are recruited to 'work' at Seedleaf garden spaces by learning gardening basics, performing gardening chores such as weeding and transplanting, and engaging in cooking classes using harvested produce. Participants earn up to $200 in stipends.
Market Gardener Program- Our Market Garden program works with individuals from our service area who receive a moderate to low-income or are unemployed. Participants work in Seedleaf gardens for an eight-week period earning a stipend up to $550. They engage in field trips to existing farms and undergo workshops on basic agricultural business planning and marketing. After successfully completing training, they receive a plot of land at our community farm where they grow crops for local markets.
Master Community Garden Training(MCGT): This is a public eight week, 16-hour course on how to garden in community. Regular topics covered include : How to start a community garden in your neighborhood, Compost 101, Common Plants and Pest Problems in Kentucky, Soil building and preservation, Garden Tools and how to use them and environmental advocacy in Lexington.