With an award received from the Fund for Santa Barbara, Blue Sky Center implemented the Cuyama Valley Victory Gardens Project to confront immediate issues of food access in the Cuyama Valley during COVID-19.
Blue Sky Center’s Land Steward Sandra Uribe spearheaded and launched The Cuyama Victory Gardens Project, installing raised bed gardens, implementing bilingual curricula, and supplying planter materials, seeds, and starter plants for 11 families to grow their own fresh produce.
Sandra Uribe organized a workshop to show Victory Garden families how to identify the best garlic bulbs to use as seeds, how to prepare the soil, and how to plant them. After her hands-on demonstration, she provided each participant with a set of tools and seeds to be used at home.
Blue Sky Center was awarded $14,500 by SBCFAN’s Food System Resilience Grant program to grow their Cuyama Valley Healthy Foods Initiative and Victory Gardens Program.
Future Plans for activation:
The Victory Gardens Project Report will be released in December 2021 and their group intends to align with the Cuyama Valley Food Action Network Working Group.
- “We asked ourselves: how do we build a vibrant food system in the Cuyama Valley? Currently, we don’t have a grocery store. This initiative along with the Cuyama Buckhorn partnership became part of the solution.”
- “I think 2020 was really debilitating but it also catalyzed the food system. Suddenly, a place that did not have a food system has one.”
- “Resulted in the establishment of a local garden-to-table system that provided an immersive educational opportunity for families, empowering them to find food security within their own backyards.”
- “Created a supportive network for participating families that facilitated information sharing, ensuring the success of each family’s garden and providing a sense of community during the onset of the pandemic.”
— excerpts from conversation with Sandra Urebe about the project