July 1, 2021
Here we are, three years later, and we have started to germinate (pun intended).
In college, I was looking for a productive way to spend my free time that was nourishing, healing and revitalizing. I had a garden plot that connected me with community gardening, and that led me to apply for paid work through a local non profit.
After college, I became a service member with AmeriCorps. I worked on the Kitchen Garden Project at Garden-Raised Bounty (GRuB), a program inspired by Vietnam Veteran Dan Barker. He builds gardens and teaches you how to get connected to food. Being involved and learning about the impact of these projects are part of what inspired me to start Maine Foodscapes.
Working in the garden and getting my hands dirty provided me with a deep connection to nature, and the experiences I had were extremely restorative. I wanted others to realize we all deserve to feel that joy and connection.
As an organization we’ve built over 100 gardens and have helped impact over 500 people. Just recently we began a new partnership with AmeriCorps VISTAS, which will allow us to hire for two full time year-long positions and some summer associates. We’re also very excited that earlier this year we secured our federal non-profit status which will hopefully allow more opportunity for us to grow.
I spend my time trying to excite everyone I meet about growing their own food and reconnecting with the land that feeds us. I’m also always looking for sustaining members to contribute monthly donations to keep us thriving.
Working with people and spreading a culture of wellness and bearing witness to the volunteer leadership has made this journey so fulfilling.
To learn more, visit mainefoodscapes.org
- Ali Mediate, Founder of Maine Foodscapes