While shopping at the local farmers' markets, Joel's always been extremely envious seeing communities come together over locally produced food. Having lived in Vandenberg Village for the past two years, he detected a sense of community, but the Village is void of any general gathering places. In May of 2010, Joel got the idea to host a farmers' market in Vandenberg Village.
In September of 2010, Joseph Heuring started the Teaching Garden project at the Lompoc Valley Community Youth Center across the street from LHS. All kids are in dire need of this type of program, our society has become detached from the food we eat which ultimately ends in misguided nutritional decisions and poor health.
These projects were the beginnings of Village Farmers Market Association (V.F.M.A.).
In March of 2011, V.F.M.A. received the classification of: 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation by the Internal Revenue Service.
As V.F.M.A. continues to grow, we look forward to maintaining the projects we've completed in the past, and developing new ones. Here are some of the projects V.F.M.A. continues to work on, and looks forward to starting soon:
- Establish the Vandenberg Village Farmers' Market
- Lompoc Valley Community Youth Center teaching garden
- Support the teaching garden at Buena Vista Elementary School
- Creation of Vandenberg Village Community Garden
- Hosting lectures on: Why eat Local, Benefits of Eating Organic, Organic Gardening, Urban Homesteading Techniques, Vermicomposting and Ways to Reduce Waste
- Host FREE documentary screenings which convey V.F.M.A.'s core values and provide a venue for like minded folks to gather and discuss issues of concern.
V.F.M.A. is dedicated to fostering a locally based food system. All of the projects listed above support this goal by:
- Teaching the community to grow their own food
- Teaching the benefits of eating a locally produced organic diet
- Providing a conduit between farmers and consumers which supports local, and responsible food production
These projects will also help connect kids to the food they eat which in turn will provide them with the information they need to make smart nutritional decision in the future.
How YOU Can Help
The majority of these projects require funding above and beyond what Board Members of V.F.M.A. can contribute. The farmers' market itself is going to cost V.F.M.A. approximately $5,000.00 to start. $1,742 in government permits and fees, $1,000 in insurance, and $1,600 in required equipment, to name a few. At V.F.M.A. our goal is to help the local farmers make a livable wage which in turn will be passed on to the consumer and spread throughout the local economy in wages, supplies, and services. V.F.M.A. has NO paid workers or board members, we rely 100% on volunteers.
If V.F.M.A.'s goals are something you would like to support, please donate what you can in order to ensure these programs will continue and/or come to fruition