December 29, 2015

Year End Appeal

Dear friends,

We are approaching our 10th birthday at Island Grown Initiative, and there is so much to celebrate. Thank you for being a part of this journey with us, as we work to create a resilient and accessible food system here on Martha’s Vineyard.

Our four core programs – Poultry, Schools, Gleaning and the Farm Hub – are strong and robust. In the past year:

  • Our Gleaning program continued to harvest excess produce from local farms, delivered free of charge to community members in need. This brings their harvest total from the past six years up to 125,000 pounds.
  • Island Grown Schools led a legislative campaign to support farm to school programs in Massachusetts while serving over 20,000 Harvest of the Month taste tests, and supporting school garden-based learning for 2,511 students.
  • We leased out a total of 14 acres at our Thimble Farm property to two island farmers to support the expansion of their food production.
  • The greenhouse staff at Thimble held tours, workshops and trainings and hosted interns and fellows to educate people about aquaponics, hydroponics and controlled environment agriculture.
  • Our Poultry program worked with 18 poultry growers to bring 3,500 locally grown chickens from field to freezer.

We are now entering a new period of organizational growth, building our board and providing central support for our staff, including the development of a plan for shared central office space at Thimble Farm. We are soon to hire a new Executive Director and take new steps in the development of Thimble Farm as a resource for our island’s agricultural community.

We need your support to help us continue building a strong infrastructure for Island Grown. Your support towards our general fund will help us hire a strong new Executive Director, continue building our board, and support the central administrative expenses that allow our programs to thrive. You can also earmark your gift to any one of our four programs. You can make a donation through the mail by returning this pledge card with a check, or visit our new website www.islandgrown.org/donate to make a secure online donation.

Thank you for being there with us in these first 10 years of Island Grown Initiative. We look forward to continuing to grow with you in the decade to come.

Sincerely,

Sarah McKay, Executive Director