389: Dawn Folsom on Village Farming.
Healing forgotten children through gardening opportunities.
Dawn is a former foster kid who chose to be a catalyst of change for young people aging out of the foster care system. She became an advocate and mentor 13 years ago and has a passion to help people heal through village farming. having studied horticulture for 19 years she has become an advocate for local food access.
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She is cofounder of Heartvines Educational Farm – an extension of the non-profit The Village, Easing Childhood Poverty. They are a group of people dedicated to creating positive change for young people through village farming. Heartvines promotes that the garden is the best place to talk about life, through intensive agriculture techniques, collaborative partnerships, and adding inspiration to our spaces. They are creating an opportunity for young people to learn about food access, civic engagement, entrepreneurship, and life skills.
In This Podcast:
The forgotten children who grow up in the foster care system often become young adults on the street with no help, no resources, and forced to make desperate choices to survive. Dawn Folsom was caught stealing food when she was hungry. Now she is a major force behind several urban farming projects that teach, empower, and build up the community of aged-out foster kids that have gotten dumped into the world. She is offering models of village farms and supportive housing projects to help communities do better with their forgotten children.
Listen in and learn about:
- Aging out of the foster care system and learning about village farming,
- How she got started in horticulture when she was a troubled kid
- Getting a blue ribbon and getting excited
- Growing 85 pepper plants
- Wanting to give her daughter opportunities with experience and confidence
- Failing forward!
- The village farm, sensory garden and more
- The Supportive Housing projects which were helping kids just coming out of the system or facing homeless
- Helping young people develop self sufficiency and grow their own food
- Partnering with a public library to build another village urban farm to help the community
- Going to Arkansas to build an eco-village and it not working at first, then finding the drive to make it happen
- Helping an organization in Hawaii build their village farm that has 40 acres gifted to them
- Having a model that can be replicated in other communities
- Village farming a process that helps the entire community
- The discovery farm model – a botanical farm extraordinaire
- A call for medicinal plant donations
- Fiscal sponsorship to help programs apply for sponsorships
- Helping foster kids who have aged out of the system
- The young person who turned his life around and is now helping others
- The time she got caught stealing food
As well as:
- Her failure – Taking all their savings to buy property and having the deal fall through and getting to a low point
- Her success – the village farm, partnering with the library and getting the support of the city,
- Her drive – wanting to help her brothers and sisters from the foster care system – using her personal experience to teach live skills
- Her advice – If your dreams don’t scare you, dream bigger
Dawn’s Book recommendations:
How to reach Dawn:
Facebook: Heartvines Educational Farms
Go Fund Me Campaign: Heartvines Discovery Farm
To learn more about more about Growing Your Own Food
And to see the I’m an Urban Farmer line
Note: You can also find these books mentioned above at one of our favorite local independent bookstores and know that you are supporting a small business.