GOLD2022

Fertile Groundworks

TEACH GROW GIVE

Livermore, CA   |  www.fertilegroundworks.org

Mission

Fertile GroundWork's mission is to TEACH sustainable gardening, organically GROW healthy, nutritious food to GIVE to our neighbors in need. To fulfill our mission, we teach thousands of community volunteers techniques they can use in their home gardens. With their help we are able to grow over 20,000 pounds of fresh produce and give it to our local soup kitchen and food pantries to share with our neighbors. Improving food security throughout our community. Fertile GroundWorks also supports eleven school gardens with supplies and people power.

Ruling year info

2012

Executiive Director

Brenda Kusler

Main address

4743 East Avenue

Livermore, CA 94550 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

45-5415064

NTEE code info

Other Food, Agriculture, and Nutrition N.E.C. (K99)

Human Service Organizations (P20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Healthy Food for All

Since it's inception, Fertile GroundWorks has taught people how to grow large amounts of nutritious organic produce in relatively small bed spaces. Since 2012, Fertile GroundWorks has grown and delivered more than 131,000 pounds of produce on less than 9,000 square feet of garden beds. Almost all of this produce was incorporated into healthy meals prepared by Open-Heart Kitchen,our community kitchen, the same day it was picked. This food is served weekly to the area’s homeless, low and very-low income families, including a significant number of small children and seniors. A portion of a day's harvest is also sent to the local food pantries for their clients to take home and prepare for their families. Two of the five pantries we serve are located on school campuses where parents can come to pick up food for their families while their children are in classes, then walk home and prepare dinner together.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Homeless people

Fertile GroundWorks has created a unique interactive learning environment within our community by developing a sustainable food production teaching garden, our Garden of Grace . The Garden of Grace provides a teaching venue where volunteers of all ages gain experience in gardening techniques to use in their own home gardens. Fertile GroundWorks' Educational Programs include the following:
1) Garden of Grace Volunteer Learning: Volunteers can come to the Garden of Grace for any of our 4 weekly garden shifts. Volunteers work alongside Alameda County Master Gardeners and other experienced organic food gardeners who teach food gardening principles and skills while supervising work. The harvest for Open Heart Kitchen is done weekly during our Tuesday and Wednesday morning shifts. In 2018, 1,056 individuals volunteered 6,162 hours of learning while they helped grow the 20,561 pounds of food that Fertile GroundWorks was able to share with our low income neighbors.
2) Garden Learning Series: Gardening experts from Fertile GroundWorks, Alameda Co. Master Gardeners and the Tri-Valley gardening organizations provide an hour of highly useful gardening information pertaining to the upcoming or current gardening season. These classes are held free of charge on either the third or fourth Saturday of each month at the Garden of Grace.
3) Workshops: Fertile Ground holds free community workshops on the bio-intensive gardening techniques we use in the Garden of Grace for individuals and groups wishing to follow our model in their own communities.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Fertile GroundWorks has created a unique interactive learning environment within our community by developing a one acre sustainable food production teaching garden, our Garden of Grace . The Garden of Grace provides a teaching venue where volunteers of all ages gain experience in gardening techniques to use in their own home gardens.
To further attain our educational goals we have also offered our expertise to local schools and helped create viable garden spaces at two high schools and works in seven elementary/middle school gardens. One of our highschool partners, Livermore High School, is home to one of the last active FFA programs in California and we are helping them rejuvenate the agricultural sciences within their program. Both of the highschools we are involved with have Culinary Academies and the academy students are using the produce grown in the school gardens to develop farm to table menus and preparing dishes for their fellow students to enjoy. It is hoped that within the next few years the Culinary Academy students work will be contributing food directly to the school district's hot lunch program.
School gardens tend to suffer during the summer months. To achieve year round maintenance of the school gardens, Fertile GroundWorks facilitated a collaboration with our K-8 garden teachers and the staff of the LARPD-Administered Extended Student Services (ESS) Program summer programs on their campuses. Fertile GroundWorks volunteers work with the ESS staff and students during the summer, harvesting and sharing the produce while keeping the gardens in a ready state for the next school year.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Young adults

Where we work

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Added new varieties of crops to our garden to fill clients' request for their comfort foods. Added recipe suggestion cards for our partners who prepare food for our neighbors in need.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback

Financials

Fertile Groundworks
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Fertile Groundworks

Board of directors
as of 05/12/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Dave David

Asbury United Methodist Church

Term: 2014 - 2022


Board co-chair

Teresa Win

Entrepreneur

Term: 2016 - 2022

Dave David

Asbury United Methodist Church

Teresa Win

Entrepreneur

Barbara Kraybill

Retired Business Owner

Bob Cowgill

Armanino LLP, Strategic Sourcing Manager

Brooke Beyer

Retired Community Development Officer

Lora Cohen

Retired Accountant

Lynn Loucks

Accountant LARPD

Richard Crawford

Retired Chemist, AUMC Financial officer

Angela Ko

Development Officer Financial Advisor

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/18/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data