WHY JOIN FOCUS?
FoCuS is a 501(c)3. When we say that, do we really understand the advantages to our community of a 501(c)3, and why it is important to keep it alive, well-funded and full of volunteers? The FoCuS mission is “dedicated to the principles of sustainable living, community self-reliance, and well-being through education and collaboration in the Sierra foothill region.” FoCuS is willing, and with enough volunteers and members is able, to help fulfill your dreams. How? Do you have an idea, project, or pass time that you feel has a goal similar to the FoCuS mission stated above? Present your thoughts to the Board of Directors and see if FoCuS might be able to help you bring your goal to a reality that not only benefits you, but more importantly benefits all of us.
Here are some of the projects FoCuS supports or collaborates with other organizations to accomplish:
A Potato Patch. When FoCuS was first formed, Eric Taylor and Dr. Jakob Jaggy wanted a nonprofit organization that would help establish a healthy, nutritious diet for our region. Most of what we eat is trucked in from the valley. Is it free of pesticides? Is it nutrient dense? What is its carbon footprint? FoCuS was formed originally to give residents of the foothill region locally-produced, pesticide-free, nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables and humanely-raised meats. We continue to promote that goal by planting and harvesting the Potato Patch annually—a local source of vegetable that year after year breaks ground for another potential garden in the area. Volunteers get more than potatoes for their efforts. They learn how to grow food, how to share harvest with the community, and how to bring understanding to their children of small-scale agriculture the way it used to be. FoCuS has partnered with Sonora High School’s Wildcat Ranch to help the ranch get started with its own Potato Patch, which so far has been a huge hit!
A Seed Share event. Every year FoCuS purchases seeds for the community and offers them for a small donation at a seed celebration event. We partner with the Master Gardeners on this event. Volunteers pull the event together by packaging the bulk seeds into coin envelopes, which turns into a wonderful party night with seeds everywhere. The seeds are taken to the event, which also includes educational speakers, booths for local community awareness, and individuals offering their own seeds to exchange. In spite of the drought years we experience in our region, FoCuS continues to offer seeds to grow food for our self-reliance. Donations for seeds at the event are used to further support community and school gardens. No volunteer is turned away!
A Seed Library. The recently-opened Seed Library, located in the Sonora Community Library on Greenley Road, gives every resident an opportunity to check out some seed packets, learn how to grow them out to their full cycle of seed production, and save seeds for their next year and for others to enjoy by returning some to the library. Master Gardeners and the general public help at the library to get seeds out to everyone who wants them, free of charge. It is our hope that a steady supply of locally-adapted seeds will begin to pour back into the library and that it will become a sustainable project designed to give us all greater success at growing food and flowers. Seeds are the little miracles that sustain us—please support them by your participation.
An Equipment Library. Through grants and private donations, FoCuS was able to secure a potato digger and planter. Now any farm or organization can grow a small plot of potatoes with a very few people by using the planter and harvester. We purchased honey harvesting equipment that will help beekeepers work with our pollinators. Our library of equipment will continue to grow as more projects take shape.
We appriciate your support.