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 four recipients who are working to take care of people while protecting the planet. This year, we received hundreds of applications and were inspired 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 four projects that align with our values and will have a lasting positive impact on this planet we call home. Join us in congratulating this year's grantees and celebrating herbal education, environmental stewardship, and our plant-loving community!
Meet the Winners
Bottoms Up Community Garden
Since 2014, Bottom's Up has served as a hub of West Oakland's Lower Bottoms neighborhood. Bound on all sides by freeways, the related pollution and a history of redlining have left West Oakland with visible patterns of divestment. In this virtual food desert, residents have limited access to healthy food and are one and a half times more likely to
experience a chronic respiratory condition.
With funding, Bottom's Up will engage in a community effort to plant, harvest, and distribute medicinal plants and herbal products known to strengthen respiratory function and/or soothe respiratory distress, while providing community education on utilizing these plants and products to support overall health. Project activities will include:
- A series of workshops where community members gain a greater understanding of herbal medicines for respiratory health, plant care, and development; herbal medicine making with the goal of empowering participants with the skills and knowledge needed to cultivate these plants on their own plots of land.
- Community workdays where participants can take part in tending to the plants as they grow.
- Distributing herbal products and educational materials through a network of community partners to provide greater access to these remedies.
Insight Garden Program
Insight Garden Program (IGP) is a grassroots non-profit led by people who were previously incarcerated and those most impacted by the collateral damage of incarceration. Prisons are inherently designed for punishment rather than healing. Though 95% of all incarcerated people will eventually be released, they return home with generally worsened physical and mental health. This has been further exacerbated during COVID when solitary confinement and extended lockdowns were used as a measure for social distancing.
IGP's mission is to restore connections to self, community, and the natural world through transformative in-prison programs, circles of holistic support for people reentering back into communities, and advocacy for policy change led by those directly impacted by incarceration. The program offers the opportunity for people who are incarcerated to learn about medicinal plants and in turn, learn about their bodies and body systems, and regain body autonomy. In weekly 2-hour sessions, herbalism education is provided to those incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison and Solano State Prison. They advocate for medical and health sovereignty by empowering participants to learn about their bodies and what they need to tend and care for them. Through the herbalism course, participants co-create and tend to a garden space where they can take healing into their own hands and reconnect to their bodies, regain a sense of control, and rediscover their sense of self and connection with the natural world.
Salish Place of Remediation Education (SPoRE)
Metamimicry and the Squaxin Island Tribe are partnering to build the Salish Place of Remediation Education (SPoRE) as an extension of their community garden, the Salish Roots Farm. The SPoRE will be a community mushroom cultivation center that bolsters the mission and goals of the Squaxin Island Tribe. Metamimicry will build a robust medicinal and gourmet mushroom program with the Tribe, contributing to their food sovereignty and community self-sufficiency initiatives. SPoRE participants will include Tribal youth, Squaxin Island members, and broader community members as volunteers. They will learn cultivation and experimental techniques, contribute to research projects, make medicine, grow remediator species, and grow fungi from culturally relevant, foraged finds. As a shared space, people will be able to use resources, including equipment and books, for their own personal projects, increasing access to fungi for all. In its most basic form, it will be a community mushroom garden'. In practice, the SPoRE will function as a multi-faceted community space for healing bodies, lands, and culture, working towards a shared vision for the future with the Squaxin Island Tribe
Quail Springs is a leading educational non-profit that resides on a 450-acre permaculture demonstration site on the traditional homelands of the Chumash people in Cuyama Valley, California. Their mission is to empower students of all ages and backgrounds with knowledge, skills, and inspiration essential to cultivating ecological and social health in a rapidly changing world. They specialize in watershed advocacy, online education, natural building, dryland farming, and community outreach. The funding provided by the 2022 grant will help to fund a communal medicine garden along with other educational programs that the organization provides to the community.
Looking for more inspirational projects?
Meet Our Past Winners: