Food For Everyone Foundation
848 Woodruff Way
Salt Lake City, Utah 84108
(801) 583-4449 – www.foodforeveryone.org
December 14, 2006
Dear Worldwide Friends:
I am so pleased to report that we have seen excellent progress in three major areas of the Foundation’s mission this past year – much of it made possible by the participation of friends such as yourselves.
First, it’s exciting to see that hundreds of thousands of families from around the world are discovering the Foundation’s gardening training materials on the internet and are growing incredible vegetable gardens – in many cases even producing highly successful commercial gardens.
Second, the many years of work on the training materials are coming to fruition. Dr. Jacob Mittleider’s books, CDs and training videos have been improved and digitized; 6 books, 9 manuals, and 80 training videos are now available digitally; and all 90 video training sessions will soon be available to the world as a downloadable Master Gardener-level “virtual” training system.
And third, our work in Armenia is beginning to bear fruit, as the gardens we’ve helped create become the envy of the communities in which they are located; families are teaching their neighbors to replicate their successes; and the students we’ve trained receive offers to greatly expand the work, even into adjoining countries!
Visitors to the free gardening materials on the website, the free gardening group, and my published articles are estimated to total well over 1.4 million people already. Our ability to help people by means of the internet continues to expand as we receive invaluable assistance from internet experts in website design and development, and Search Engine optimization. We are extremely grateful for contributions of both money and expertise which we receive in this essential administrative area, which encompasses the first two areas of major progress mentioned above.
It’s a real blessing that we are able to cover the regular office, website, and administrative costs of our work through the Foundation’s sales of books, CDs, and fertilizers. We have no regular paid staff, but pay a young college student for the time he spends shipping materials. Araksya and I devote our full-time efforts to the Foundation’s mission as our “Pay-It-Forward” way of thanking God for all we’ve received. And we expect to finance as much as half the cost of our involvement in projects we conduct from our own resources, as always.
The greatest challenge we face is in funding the training projects we conduct in impoverished countries, such as Armenia. This is the area in which we believe we can make the greatest direct impact on the lives and well-being of families. I invite you to consider the things I describe next and, to the extent possible, participate with us in helping our brothers and sisters around the world.
Three years of work under very difficult conditions in Armenia have given the Foundation a good reputation and a degree of exposure that make it possible for us to do more than ever before. For example, our students and participating families report their vegetable garden production in 2006 was 6 times greater than their traditional methods, and the Northern Shirak region of the country has been introduced to the successful growing of warm-weather crops such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, squash, etc.
As a direct result of these previous successes we have been asked to conduct a project in the neighboring Republic of Georgia in the spring of 2007 that will be bigger than anything we’ve ever done before. We will be training 16 students at a central location; we will grow 90,000+ seedlings in 4 greenhouses for 994 participants; we will assist our students as they teach and help those families; and we will train our replacements, so the training facility can become a permanent agricultural training school.
And because the new project is only 2 ½ hours by car from our training facility in Armenia we will be able to continue and expand our training in that country as well.
The prospects are very exciting! We have already secured financial assistance for the larger project in Georgia, including capital expenditures such as land, multiple greenhouses, and teaching facilities. Other costs that will be covered include housing, housekeeper/cook, supervisory staff, seeds, fertilizers, and students’ food, training materials, and transportation costs. Only our air and ground transportation are needed, which will amount to $2,700 for airfare and $5,600 for a used car and gas for 6 months.
The costs of conducting the 2007 gardening training in Armenia, for which we do not have funding yet, will bless the lives of 250 villagers living in Getk and adjacent villages for many years. Land, housing, greenhouse, and garden equipment are already in place. The project costs still to be funded include:
* Training books and matls in Russian – 250 sets @ $25 -$6,250
* Greenhouse covering – 8 mil dual-wall polycarbonate – 2,800
* Project Manager – ten months @ $200 per month – – – – 2,400
* Cook/housekeeper & food Stdnts & STFF– – – – – – – – – 1,800
* Fertilizers and seedling production materials – – – – – – – -5,500
I am posting a few pictures from Armenia in 2006 to the Pictures section of the MittleiderMethodGardening group on Yahoo Groups. These will give you an idea of a few of the accomplishments of this past year.
I’ve also included as a P.S. more detailed explanations of each category of expense for the Georgia and Armenia projects for 2007, for those of you who care to read it.
Thank you for your interest in and support of the humanitarian work in which we are engaged! As always, because the Foundation is a 501©(3) public charitable organization, any donations are fully deductible on your tax return if you itemize deductions. Any who are interested can donate to the Armenia/Georgia projects online at www.foodforeveryone.org in the Donate section, or by snail mail.
Jim & Araksya Kennard
P.S. Training materials include the 5 books that have been translated into Russian – The Mittleider Gardening Course, Let’s Grow Tomatoes, Gardening by the Foot, 6 Steps to Successful Gardening, and the Garden Doctor 3-volume set. These sell for $107 here in the USA.
Reliable transportation for us inside each project and between the projects is required. In 2004 we rented a car, but spent too much time being stranded and waiting for repairs. In 2005 we paid $2,500 for an old Russian car and had similar grief. That vehicle is now used for the Getk, Armenia training center, and cannot be counted on for long distance driving such as we need. A reliable used European car, with gasoline for the 6+ months of the two projects will cost $5,600.
Because Getk is above 5,000’ elevation and surrounded by glacial mountains, weather is similar to the Heber valley in Utah. The greenhouse we used there last year REALLY needs to be fitted with dual-wall polycarbonate walls and roof, plus a wood-burning stove, in order to make heating it a reasonable possibility. Last year we had nights clear into June where the greenhouse plants barely managed to avoid freezing, even with supplemental electric heaters. We will grow between 25,000 and 30,000 seedlings in Getk. This will cost $2,800, but will last for 20 years, and pay for itself many times over.
In order to conduct two projects in two countries simultaneously we have hired Rafic Karapetyan, a highly intelligent and excellent worker with whom we worked last year, to be the full-time manager of the greenhouse and garden in Getk. His salary, plus transportation costs (gas & oil), for a 12-16 hour per day commitment for 10 months will total $2,400.
And the final major costs include a cook, food, and fertilizers for the Getk training center, as well as the students and participant families. Based on the requirements last year we expect those costs to be $1,800 for cook/housekeeper and $5,500 for fertilizers (for the Training Center garden as well as student gardens) and seedling production materials.
With $27,050, half of which we expect to provide out of our own pockets, we will directly bless the lives of well over a thousand people – this year and for many years to come – by teaching them how to increase not only the quantity of their food production, but the quality and variety as well. And several hundred other families in the villages in which we work will be benefited indirectly, by sharing in the seedlings and produce, as well as by learning from our participants how to improve their own gardens.