During the early summer of 2013 after a no-spring long Alaskan winter, ACAT started a pilot program named Yarducopia, aiming to grow more organic food in Anchorage. The program is one part Neighborhood Supported Agriculture, one part co-op, one part gardening club and two parts community garden. The project beautifies local neighborhoods, provides a new way to volunteer and be involved in the local green and food movements, while producing local, organic food and flowers to a diverse income group.
Yarducopia connects landowners, who donate yard space and tools, with people who have time to spend in a Garden. ACAT trains the volunteers to build sustainable, organic gardens and meets with them once a week to problem solve any growing concerns. The homeowner and volunteers split the produce grown, saving ten percent to be given to a charity of their choice.
The response we received our first season surpassed all of our expectations. People are eager to eat local, reduce our carbon footprint, and build community through gardening. The continued enthusiasm for this idea is encouraging and continues to inspire us to grow Yarducopia neighborhood offerings.
Each season we pair volunteers to 5 homeowner plots, and those numbers We built gardens using organic techniques, catering to the landscaping needs of the individual homeowners. The super awesome volunteers planted 18 different types of plants from Asian cabbage to zucchini, all started in the ACAT office.
We continue to explore the best ways to expand the program to bring in more of those excited about seeing organic gardens in Anchorage. If you are interested in getting involved with Yarducopia or making a donation, we would love to hear from you so please call our office at 222-7714 or email [email protected]. To find out more about our progress so far this year visit us on Facebook or through Yarducopia’s website (www.yarducopia.org).