Did You Know?
Heartbeat Learning Gardens Feeds Hearts & Souls!
In Her Own Words—Co-Director Nicole Manieri
Heartbeat Gardens is a nonprofit community farm. We tend a mosaic of gardens including vegetable and fruit production, herbal medicine, and pollinator gardens within the context of wildlife habitat zones—and we are “chicken parents” and “bee-guardians." We spend an average of 10 hours a day outside during the growing season tending to (and learning from) our living landscape.
The pandemic has impacted our ability to follow through with the planned educational workshops and gatherings in the gardens, as well as community volunteer works days, but we have been able to maintain our efforts in growing vital, organic produce and herbal remedies for our community.
This year, we have re-routed our focus away from education and resolved instead to focus on growing as much food as possible and donating it to local families who are struggling with food insecurity. In the times of COVID-19, food insecurity in our community has severely increased. Second Harvest Food Bank noted that they are serving 66% more clients than last year at this time!
Alongside donating all our produce to food pantries, this is Heartbeat’s second year in offering a Community Apothecary program, in which members receive monthly herbal care packages from the gardens. We had planned for monthly herbal workshops in the garden, but have had to adapt the in-person, educational piece to videos. While there is nothing like a direct encounter with these plants in their terrain, we are adapting in order to keep offering local herbal education surrounding this habitat.
Another approach to address food security needs has been the sale of edible and medicinal plant starts to home gardeners. We offer ourselves as an ongoing educational resource for these local efforts.
While we are responding to immediate, increased needs, our efforts also maintain a far-reaching vision to uplift the long-term health of our community and ecosystem. We are practitioner-educators, literally, in the field.
Donate to Heartbeat Learning Gardens to support their food security efforts: Heartbeat Learning Gardens
For more information: https://heartbeatgardens.com