Vision: A space to build community around self-reliance and food security, appreciation for our local ecosystems and all things sustainably grown and made in Ashtabula County.
- Increase number of households in Ashtabula County who are growing their own food
- Decrease number of people in Ashtabula County with diabetes and heart disease
- Provide a space where Ashtabuleans can sell their locally grown produce
- Provide a space that provides access to starting a garden a home (seeds, tools, instructions)
- Meeting space for small groups –
especially those focusing on equality, food security, health and wellness, housing justice
- Provide a space for collaboration
- Improve access to whole foods
- Sell local produce
- Sell cottage foods – jams, jellies, breads, etc
- Sell local seed starts and local seeds
- Sell local, organic, potting soil made from composted materials
- Compliment the growing farmer’s market segment of local food distribution
- Increase number of households who eat locally grown food
- Share county resource information
- Increase opportunities to improve people’s skills and abilities to cook and preserve what they grow
- Increase opportunities to improve people’s knowledge around food and its links to health
Who we are:
Sarah’s education is in the sciences. She has worked for a non-profit laboratory that analyzed volunteer-collected samples to monitor the health of local streams and Cayuga Lake in western New York state. She has also worked at the Holden Arboretum in Kirtland, Ohio, performing conservation work related to forest health and management. Recently, she left a job as an ecological consultant helping clients obtain Clean Water Act permits in order to pursue sustainable food production for subsistence, and hopefully in the future, for local markets. Upon moving to Ashtabula, Ohio, she joined a small, grass-roots group called the Ashtabula Local Food Council that works to promote local food by building connections between farmers and consumers, promoting local farms, educating area residents about local food, educating farmers about sustainable practices, and making local food more accessible.
T Gallo is a nurse who was raised in south Ashtabula County; Orwell, Ohio. She goes by “Gallo,” and is inspired by growing up where folks take charge! She hopes to foster that energy to promote folks to take charge of their own lives, and health, by making the knowledge and the healthiest foods accessible. Providing knowledge on how to grow, cook and preserve these foods; folks can become more independent and take control of their health. There are many books and studies written on how we can reverse cardiovascular disease and certain types of dementia, diabetes and some cancers by diet alone – exercise helps, too. A doctorally prepared Nurse Practitioner, Gallo is committed to providing a space where folks can learn to be more self-sufficient, collaborate with others and gain access to tools and resources that will ensure a healthier life… and enjoy every bite!
In 2020, Sarah and Gallo procured a grant through the Pollination Project and obtained enough money to make 27 garden kits for folks who were interested in starting a garden at home. Kits included seeds, seed starts, organic fertilizer, soil and instructions. Additionally, with help from local food coordinator, Julie Wayman, and Dia Flemming of Connections, they hosted classes on home gardening to improve community resilience and improve community building during Covid. Classes were held every Tuesday from 6pm – 7pm and saw over 110 folks sign up and as many as 37 join for class weekly! The program continues in 2021 with a component of in-person garden tours around the county. They hope to include the demonstration kitchen as a vehicle to help folks not just grow their own food but then have confidence to save it for winter, sell or share with neighbors and family!