Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Cooperation Humboldt Plants Fruit Trees for Everyone

Posted By on Wed, Mar 31, 2021 at 1:50 PM

click to enlarge Eva Hogue, a Cooperation Humboldt garden installer, planting a fruit tree. - COOPERATION HUMBOLDT
  • Cooperation Humboldt
  • Eva Hogue, a Cooperation Humboldt garden installer, planting a fruit tree.
Cooperation Humboldt's mission to make food more available to all is steadily growing, with the local nonprofit planting an additional 130 fruit trees throughout the county this year.

“We believe that nutritious food is a fundamental human right, and our projects aim to put that belief into practice in very tangible ways,” said Tamara McFarland, who coordinates the Cooperation Humboldt's food program. “Growing public food in common spaces is an important step toward our goal to return Humboldt County to the regenerative, life-sustaining food forest and ecological haven that it once was.”

This year marks the third round of fruit tree planting. In 2019, 23 trees were planted and 56 trees last year, totaling around 209 public fruit trees. Once the trees begin fruiting, neighbors will be able to visit the tree and harvest.

Cooperation Humboldt's mission is to create a more equitable economy and empower people to learn skills that were once necessary for basic survival, like gardening and harvesting.

“Cooperation Humboldt's community fruit tree program has helped Two Feathers NAFS move toward Food Sovereignty, which we believe is an inherent right of Native Peoples — to self-determine food systems that rebalance healthy communities and Mother Earth," said Amy Mathieson, a family support coordinator and member of the Food Sovereignty Team at Two Feathers Native American Family Services (NAFS). "Over 40 youth joined us in both Hoopa and McKinleyville to plant 20 trees. They were able to learn how they can be active participants in Food Sovereignty, but just as importantly they were able to connect with nature, their community, Two Feathers staff, and each other. These connections are vitally important to the mental health and wellness of our youth and families.”

Through their food programs, Cooperation Humboldt has provided Little Free (Blue) Pantries to facilitate neighborhood food sharing, converted unused front lawns into gardens, empowered inexperienced gardeners to learn to grow food through free mini gardens, published the annual Community Food Guide and offered a variety of educational opportunities relating to food production.

To learn more about Cooperation Humboldt and their work, visit their website at www.cooperationhumboldt.org.

Read the full press release below.
LOCAL GROUP PLANTS FRUIT TREES FOR THE FUTURE

EUREKA, CA (March 31, 2021) –Local nonprofit social change organization Cooperation Humboldt has kicked off 2021 by planting over 130 fruit trees throughout Humboldt County. The trees were planted in publicly accessible locations with the specific intent of making food available to anyone who wants it. Everyone who received a tree has agreed to share its fruits with their neighbors once the trees begin to produce, and signage will be added to that effect.

“We believe that nutritious food is a fundamental human right, and our projects aim to put that belief into practice in very tangible ways,” says Tamara McFarland, who coordinates the organization’s food program. “Growing public food in common spaces is an important step toward our goal to return Humboldt County to the regenerative, life-sustaining food forest and ecological haven that it once was.”

“This opportunity means much more than just planting fruit trees for me. It is so valuable to connect with people by growing something together to empower our community,” reports Saimie Koontz, a garden installer for Cooperation Humboldt. “Working towards food sovereignty during a pandemic gives me hope for a stronger, kinder Humboldt.”

Amy Mathieson, Family Support Coordinator and Member of the Food Sovereignty Team at Two Feathers Native American Family Services (NAFS) shares, “Cooperation Humboldt's community fruit tree program has helped Two Feathers NAFS move towards Food Sovereignty which we believe is an inherent right of Native Peoples - to self-determine food systems that rebalance healthy communities and Mother Earth. Over 40 youth joined us in both Hoopa and McKinleyville to plant 20 trees. They were able to learn how they can be active participants in Food Sovereignty, but just as importantly they were able to connect with nature, their community, Two Feathers staff, and each other. These connections are vitally important to the mental health and wellness of our youth and families.”

This year’s undertaking builds on the success of the organization’s first two rounds of planting, which resulted in 23 trees planted in 2019 and 56 trees in 2020. A map of all locations can be viewed at https://tinyurl.com/coop-humb-fruit-trees. The significant growth of the program this year was due to Cooperation Humboldt’s participation in the 2020 Disaster Recovery COVID National Dislocated Worker Grant (NDWG). The grant provides disaster-relief and humanitarian assistance employment to dislocated workers to minimize the employment and economic impact of the COVID Pandemic, and is administered through the Smart Workforce Center at The Job Market.

Cooperation Humboldt’s food team also provides Little Free Pantries to facilitate neighborhood sharing, converts unused front lawns into productive gardens, empowers inexperienced gardeners to learn to grow food through their free mini gardens, publishes the annual Community Food Guide, and offers a variety of educational opportunities relating to food production. Learn more at cooperationhumboldt.org.

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Iridian Casarez is a staff writer at the North Coast Journal.

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