About Grants 4 Plants
In 2018, Mountain Rose Herbs launched its annual Grants 4 Plants Program. Each year, a $4,000 grant is awarded to five recipients who are working to take care of people while protecting the planet. Each year we look for grassroots organizers, small businesses that give back to their community, home herbalists, and nonprofit organizations that are poised to bring their visions to life and who will make a lasting impact.
In 2020, we reviewed 888 applications and were overwhelmed by the passion, creativity, and commitment of our growing herbal community (search #grants4plants on YouTube and other social media channels to view all the incredible submissions!). After careful consideration, we have selected five projects that align with our values and will have a lasting positive impact in their communities and beyond. Join us in congratulating our grantees and celebrating herbal education, environmental stewardship, and our plant-loving community!
Meet the Winners
For more info about these inspiring projects, watch the full-length videos from our five winners below!
Project Description: The Florence Fang Community Farm’s Herbal Engagement Program promotes herbs as part of a healthy lifestyle, encourages community cohesion by connecting youth and elders, and makes healing foods accessible to residents in Bayview-Hunters Point (BVHP). The BVHP is a USDA-certified food desert, a site of environmental injustice, and San Fransico's most socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhood. With the help of this grant, they will bring the benefits of herbalism to this underserved area by growing and distributing herbs to local families, conducting on-site educational presentations about natural growing practices, and launching digital campaigns to share the benefits of herbalism.
Organization: Florence Fang immigrated to San Francisco in 1960 with her husband John T. C. Fang. Mrs. Fang and her family opened a local printing business and became publishers of several newspapers in San Francisco, including The Young China Daily News, AsianWeek, Mission Life, The Independent Newspaper Group, and the San Francisco Examiner. Mrs. Fang and her family also operated Chinatown’s largest restaurant and became prominent leaders in the community. Among many of her public service roles, Mrs. Fang has served on the National U.S. Small Business Commission, California Commission on the Status of Women, and the San Francisco Film Commission. As a result of her own life experiences, Mrs. Fang has particularly focused her life on education and American and Chinese cultural exchange, which is woven into the work that the community farm does in Bayview-Hunters Point.
Making Trash Bloom
Project Description: When landfills seal trash cells, that land can never be built on, used to grow crops, or planted with trees. Normally, trash cells are seeded with turfgrass, which has little ecological value. Sustainability Matters realized that planting a native pollinator and wildlife habitat would have greater impact. In their rural area, Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, few residents will ever visit a traditional horticultural education site. However, everyone passes the landfill, where the Shenandoah County pilot project, “Flower Plot at the Dump”, has become a source of community pride and a vital educational resource on the value of native plants.
Organization: Sustainability Matters is a Virginia-grown grassroots non-profit focused on environmental education and community building. Their goal is to make sustainability fun, realistic, and accessible to all. Sustainability Matters was founded in 2018 by Executive Director Sari Carp, a former business school professor who discovered her true calling combatting lawns, educating about native plants and wild edibles, and managing the career of Sustainability Matters’ official spokescat, Haym. So far, Sustainability Matters has planned and hosted over 100 educational and outreach programs in eight rural counties. They work at the intersection of sustainable agriculture, gardening and business promoting environmental awareness and nature conservation. Social interaction, peer-to-peer information exchange, and inclusivity are integral to their model.
Project Description: Shepherd's Table's urban garden was started by one of the organization's chefs, Christina Moore. She saw an open space outside their building, and with some donated garden beds, Christina planted herbs, bok choy, carrots, and greens. Her passion for the little garden led to an idea for expansion, and with the community’s help, their garden continues to grow in size. The produce is currently used to feed meal guests, many of whom are experiencing homelessness or living in poverty. The next phase of their program is to train clients in skills related to gardening, in order to improve wellbeing through the relaxing process of gardening and promote empowerment through growing their own food.
Organization: Shepherd’s Table is a non-profit organization in Downtown Silver Spring, Maryland. Founded in 1983, the organization aims to help and improve the daily lives of people experiencing homelessness or living in poverty by providing basic services at their building. Their services include daily meals, clean clothing, information and referrals, personal mail, telephone use, vision screening, prescription assistance, and other social services. For the past 37 years, they have never missed a meal, even during the pandemic!
Project description: This project is dedicated to strengthening and empowering communities by reconnecting people to land, plants, and herbs. The Community Collective Care project was created by the Sustainable G's organization and directed their efforts into stewarding and revitalizing an abandoned local garden space. They will use this space to grow plants and vegetables with a focus on food sovereignty, community centered leadership, mutual aid, and empowering others to grow food at home. A key focus is building culturally relevant programming on plants, herbs, and using food as medicine. In partnership with their community, they will hold workshops on building at-home apothecaries and herbal clinics. They also aim to build equity and shape new food stories in the community by sharing the history, practices, and generational legacies with herbs to foster personal connections. To ensure access to this project, virtual workshops and free digital magazines will be available at local libraries across the city.
Organization: Sustainable G’s is a collective of gardeners, herbalists, builders, and art activists who believe in supporting & promoting sustainability, wellness, and agriculture through community focused projects. They host seed exchanges, garden plantings, herbal pop-ups, and research projects to support healthier outcomes for the community and drive civic engagement. Influenced by the traditional knowledge of their ancestors, the practice of returning to the land aids in restoring the dignity of the experiences, cultures, and histories. The only way to move forward is to do so collectively.
Project Description: Living School is an open enrollment public high school in New Orleans East, with a focus towards environmental stewardship and health as well as a strong focus on Career Technology Education. This project-based learning school teaches important skills by doing real world work. The current project is a multi-discipline project that will teach students both advanced technological skills in computer aided drafting, 3D modeling and printing, as well as aquaponics. Lessons also include traditional medicine, plant propagation and care, business development, marketing and sales.
Organization: Living School cultivates equity by nurturing students to do work that improves their lives, communities, and environment through holistic health, citizenship, & entrepreneurship. They are putting action behind thought to support a world where all children get what they need to live healthy, rewarding lives in equitable, peaceful communities, in an interconnected, thriving world.
Want to Learn more about the other 2020 applicants?
Meet Our Past Winners: