Live Earth Farm is a special place in the winter. In the winter everyone jumps in to help keep the farm growing, while staff in all different positions take holiday vacations. This winter Education Coordinator, Hayley, has been filling in for Farm Manager, Christine, as well as working the farmer’s markets. Last Sunday, Hayley was working a market with camper and LEF staff daughter, Emily. Hayley got Emily a loaf of zucchini bread from one of the other vendors and as they shared the treat Hayley asked, “Isn’t it good?” She was surprised and delighted by Emily’s answer, “Yes, but the zucchini bread we made at camp was the best ever!” That one had a flavor that cannot be purchased. It was a treat enjoyed in a special redwood grove at the top of the farm after a long walk of the production farm to harvest zucchini, collecting eggs from the chicken coup, grating zucchini with real kitchen tools, learning to read a recipe and measure ingredients. That loaf of zucchini bread had the taste of empowerment.

We are grateful for your interest in supporting Farm Discovery. It is only with such help that we can offer greatly successful community events and programs, which are empowering, available to our community, educational and fun for kids, youth and families. We value your contribution to our local, good food community.

We are currently doing our planning for 2018 and are delighted to include you from the beginning. We are celebrating 10 years of offering transformative food, farming, and environmental education in our community.

Over the course of 2018 we will host four events and three fund drives each supporting different aspects of our mission fulfilling programming.

Our Spring Fund Drive supports our Field Trip and Summer Camp Scholarship Programs for the schools with the most socio-economically disadvantaged students in our county. We partner with agencies like Pajaro Valley Shelter Services, CASA, Big Brothers Big Sisters and Salud y Cariños to make our summer camp scholarships available to those most in need. The Fall Fund Drive supports the 6 other programs we run and the development of new curriculum for educational opportunities such as spring and fall school field trips and in some years supporting specific projects. Our Year End Drive supports the stewardship of our garden and fields, providing the seeds, tools, animal feed, and volunteer programs to maintain the wonderful infrastructure for discovery and support the donation of thousands of pounds of produce from Farm Discovery to schools, agencies and programs in need.

Our community events serve many important functions for our organization and the community. We host four events annually: The Sheep to Shawl Fair in March, A Supporters Picnic in late spring, our Fall Feast in the Fields in September, and the Harvest Festival in October. They are occasions to build relationships, learn to appreciate local farming, food and fiber systems, and an opportunity to demonstrate how farming in harmony with natural systems, as done at Live Earth, supports personal, community and environmental health. The events are a great opportunity for businesses like yours to grow their social capital in our community. It is the most public way to show your support for the important work we do at Live Earth.

I propose we develop a partnership that supports the programs and events we offer all year long, or we can find the program or event that excites your team most.

Here is a short description of each of the events:

Sheep to Shawl Fair, Saturday, March 24, 2018, 10am-2pm
This event is unique in the Santa Cruz area. It is the only Farm Discovery event focused on the fiber arts. We host 400+ people and a dozen organizations and businesses, who work hands-on with each step of processing wool. Local artisans, organizations and businesses are invited to share their crafts and host our hands-on activities. The craft fair includes yarn, knit goods, handmade rugs, lunch by The Farm Discovery Board of Directors, sheep’s milk cheese by Garden Variety Cheese, Ice Cream by Penny and more.

Supporters Picnic, April 28, 2018
Our Supporters of all kinds, volunteers, donors, and sponsors enjoy a family friendly tour and activities on the farm followed by live music and a catered lunch to say thank you.

Fall Fundraiser, Saturday September 22, 2018 4-8pm
This five course; family style, wine-pairing dinner truly features the local talent and seasonal bounty of the area and is the biggest annual fundraiser for Farm Discovery. The live music, great company, silent and live auctions and many local artisans involved make it a great time on the farm.

Harvest Festival, Saturday October 20, 2018, 10am-2pm
The Harvest Festival is our biggest food focused community event, serving 650 people or more. We create a fair like atmosphere, including vendors like Penny Ice Creamery, True Story sausage on the grill and Farmhouse Culture kraut, as well as Hidden Fortress Coffee Roasters and New Bohemia Brewing Company. Live music, hands-on crafts, apple picking, cider making, face painting, educational games, and a hay fort make this event popular with a wide variety of guests.

Your annual sponsorship  will make a meaningful contribution to all 8 programs and the 4 important events Farm Discovery will host in 2018. With this advanced planning we can recognize your business as a sponsor all year long. Alternatively, a program sponsorship for our scholarship programs will be recognized in a similar manner with more emphasis on recognition related to program communications like web pages, and electronic communications than event displays. I look forward to developing a plan with you to support all or your favorite Farm Discovery events and programs in 2018.

Growing and preparing sustainably farmed food supports healthy bodies, healthy ecosystems and healthy economies. One person’s day-to-day choices, even a child’s, can positively impact and support the health of our community.

We very much look forward to working together in 2018!