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Valley of Heart's Delight
Cultivating partnerships for a sustainable community

Food is fundamental to a sustainable future. Transporting food uses up non-renewable fossil fuels, which alters the climate with greenhouse gases. Conventional farming practices also pollute the water and deplete the soil. So, although supermarket shelves are filled today, we are undermining our ability to produce enough food in the future.

Check out the new guide for sustainable food in the Bay Area

Eating Sustainably

Resources for the San Francisco Peninsula and South Bay

Fortunately, we live on some of the most fertile land on the planet. The region known today as Silicon Valley was once heralded by farmers, poets, and the Chamber of Commerce as the “Valley of Heart’s Delight.” In 1940, productive fruit and nut trees graced over 105,000 acres in Santa Clara County alone. In 1998, only 4,500 acres remained.

Our project seeks to create a vision of the future, which integrates past and present. Our project name, Valley of Heart’s Delight, evokes the region’s rich agricultural heritage, rooting our vision in the understanding that healthy natural systems are essential for our well being. To meet the challenges that face us, we can also draw upon Silicon Valley’s ability to find innovative solutions to ever-changing conditions.

Our goal is to open up new opportunities for local, organically grown food production. In doing so, we can restore the fertility of our soils and reduce our reliance on the petrochemicals (pesticides, fertilizers, and fuels) that are polluting our environment. And by participating in this process, people will reconnect with the Earth as the source of our physical and spiritual nourishment.

The project has six main components:
• Home food gardens
• Getting Going Growing
• Harvesting for the Hungry
• Healthy School Lunch Committee
• Statewide coalition work
• Educational events

Home Food Gardens
We encourage residents to plant fruit trees and vegetables. For those who wish to grow their own food, we offer "Grow Your Own" conferences, e-mail announcements about garden classes, and Organic Garden Tours.

We also organize regional Growing Circles where new and experienced food gardeners meet to share know-how, seeds and seedlings, produce, and occasionally tools and labor. Each group has its own format and schedule, and there's no cost to participate. Sample schedules from existing Growing Circles are available on line (click here).

For more information about joining or starting a Growing Circle near you, please contact Susan Stansbury at sstansbury@globalcommunity.org.

Getting Going Growing
With parents, teachers, students, and volunteers, we help establish food gardens in local schools – gardens where children can connect with the wonder of the growing process and learn the value of caring for the Earth. Other lessons can also be learned in connection with the garden – math, science, nutrition, art, music, writing and social skills. We help schools develop a garden plan, organize volunteers, find resources, and integrate curriculum into the learning experience. Click here for more information.

Harvesting for the Hungry
In collaboration with Village Harvest, we organize teams of volunteers to pick fruit from neighborhood fruit trees. Each season we take a morning to harvest over a ton of produce for local food closets. Volunteers have fun while learning the seasons of local fruit, the hungry benefit by receiving fresh produce, and homeowners appreciate having their trees harvested. For more information visit www.villageharvest.org


Healthy School Lunch Committee
In partnership with parents, students and community members, we are working to bring fresh, local produce into the Palo Alto Unified School District lunch program, as well as provide nutritional education and hands-on learning experiences about healthy eating habits through school gardens. For more information visit the Healthy School Lunch Committee at www.homestead.com/hslc/

Statewide Coalition Work
Through the CA Food and Justice Coalition, we work to educate the state legislators about food security from a systems-wide approach. We also support policy that provides win-win solutions to our food system such as Farm to School, access of fresh food in low-income areas, and community based food systems. For more information visit the Food and Justice Coalition at www.foodsecurity.org/california

Educational Events
How secure is our food supply? There are many issues that effect food security in the long and short term. In discussions such as sustainability, growth issues and cities’ comprehensive plans, food security is mentioned only in passing, if at all. In response to this lack of awareness, the Valley of Heart’s Delight project hosts speakers with expertise in food-related issues, and hold other educational events. Click here for more information.

For more information, contact: Susan Stansbury,
sstansbury@globalcommunity.org

The Valley of Heart's Delight is a project of the Foundation for Global Community

All contents  2000 Stiftung Drittes Millennium
Email: Webmaster | The earlier sponsor Foundation for Global Community was a 501(c)(3) nonprofit