Kids Gardening Club Year Round Farm2Table Exploration

Project Overview

Project Type: Youth Educator
Funds awarded in 2023: $5,668.00
Projected End Date: 01/31/2025
Grant Recipient: Lodi Family Center
Region: North Central
State: Ohio
Project Manager:
Rebecca Rak
Lodi Family Center
Project Co-Managers:
Tracey George
Lodi Family Care Center


  • Fruits: melons
  • Vegetables: beans, beets, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbages, carrots, cucurbits, eggplant, garlic, greens (leafy), greens (lettuces), leeks, peas (culinary), peppers, radishes (culinary), sweet corn, tomatoes, turnips
  • Additional Plants: herbs, native plants, ornamentals


  • Crop Production: crop rotation, food processing facilities/community kitchens, pollinator habitat, row covers (for season extension), seed saving
  • Education and Training: youth education
  • Pest Management: mulches - general, prevention
  • Production Systems: hydroponics
  • Soil Management: earthworms
  • Sustainable Communities: community services, food hubs, public participation

    Proposal abstract:

    Lodi Family Center is located on the Medina, Wayne, Lorain, and Ashland County borders. Our targeted population has 53% poverty; 74% of families have experienced domestic violence; our schools are recovering from receivership; and 68% of families are single parents. Since the pandemic started, our pantry served 17,763 households. We have 80 volunteers actively engaged  in promoting the use of fresh produce from local farms in every meal. Our goal is to improve the health and wellness of our community by helping families overcome the barriers that keep them from incorporating fresh produce in their children's daily diets.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    1. Introduce 100 youth to climate resilient, organic regenerative agriculture through hands-on work sessions that also explore cover crops, nutrient management and soil health. 

    2. Introduce 40 youth to natural pollinators and beneficial insects while exploring natural role wetlands play in our area as well as how to improve water quality.

    3. Increase by 200 the number of youth who participate in indoor and outdoor gardening opportunities while exploring the differences between commercial farming and family-operated farms as well as hydroponics, aeroponics, aquaponics, and soil-based indoor gardening options.

    4. Increase by 40 the number of youth understanding of how wildlife preservation, renewable energy, and responsible gardening positively affects our community's and their families quality of life through a minimum of one field trip and 3 hands-on-projects with politicians, farmers, and local chefs.

    5. Presentations of results of project completed through ongoing social media promotions as well as a minimum of 6 community events.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.