The mission of Seedleaf is to nourish communities by growing and sharing food.
In 2007, a group of friends cultivated a successful community garden on the south side of Lexington. We agreed that with some structure and planning, this could be replicated in other neighborhoods. So we filed papers and made some plans and came to be incorporated as a charitable nonprofit. We grew 3 gardens in 2008, 10 gardens in 2009, and have grown steadily since that time.
People lack connection. Seedleaf does its best work when neighbors are sharing work and sharing food, coming together over common tasks and needs. Neighbors and volunteers joining together in gardens come to be connected with each other, and to be reconnected with their food, and with the soil. These webs of connection cultivate social capital and will bear untold fruit through the growing seasons to come.
Additionally, Seedleaf works to address food insecurity throughout our service area. Many Lexington residents live in food deserts: communities where a concentrated number of households do not own vehicles and are located more than a half mile from a grocery store. Food insecurity and the inability to obtain healthy food puts adults and children at an increased risk for diabetes, obesity, malnutrition, and a number of other diet related health problems. We work to increase our neighbors' access to healthy food--one free, u-pick garden at a time.
Seedleaf cultivates 15 free u-pick community gardens throughout Fayette County's food deserts, 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. Much of that food waste is composted at or near our community gardens.
We also offer fantastic programing for area youth. Our SEEDS Program focuses on middle school aged young people, equipping them with knowledge and skills pertaining to growing and cooking food.
We are designing a 2 acre parcel of land on North Limestone into a teaching farm. The Seedleaf Urban Farm will include a number of components working together to further our mission. There will be a community garden oriented toward neighbors living in an apartment complex nearby. We will also have parcels for several market gardeners. Additionally, we will have 5-10 demonstration stations of home-scale interventions to address nutritional needs or other environmental services, like rain gardens.