Jones Valley Teaching Farm continues to grow

The Jones Valley Teaching Farm started almost a decade ago.

The idea was to establish a community garden in the Birmingham metro area. It has grown and flourished.

Not only does it provide fresh fruits and vegetables for the community. It teaches youth the importance of proper nutrition. "The idea is home grown food and building a food culture," says Grant Brigham, the director of Jones Valley Teaching Farm. "It has two missions, it's a health mission and an education mission."The Jones Valley Teaching Farm, situated against the backdrop of downtown Birmingham has been able to do a lot with little space."We're able to grow up to sixty different varieties of crops throughout the year, which is pretty amazing when you consider its on less that two acres of production," says Brigham.The farm is staffed by ten people.The goal now is working with children and teaching them the importance of proper nutrition and its impact on their lives. "Through the understanding and analysis of who we are and who we can be, we decided to focus on K-8 education and establish a strong basis for learning about food, about nutrition, about food culture and about the overall connection between food and the economy, or food and academic performance," Brigham says.The farm wants to continue that education, but as a non-profit, it relies solely on donations.

That's why Jones Valley Teaching Farm teamed up with Protective Life for an challenge grant.{}{}{} {}The fundraising effort is underway now online. Brigham explains, "If we can raise $50,000 from our community, from individuals, protective with match that, so really it's $100,000 initiative."through that initiative, the farm hopes to continue to grow and touch the lives of even more children. "There's no shortage of innovative, smart ideas, working off an urban farm. It is an innovative idea. It is an innovative idea and there's a lot of potential there," says Brigham.

If you are interested in donating as part of the match grant program, click here.