The Food Literacy Project began in 2005 at the agricultural oasis between Oxmoor Country Club and Interstate 64. Since 2004, Field Day Family Farm, a tenant operation on this parcel of Oxmoor Farm, has cultivated 8 acres of fresh produce for a variety of local markets. Due to the farm’s unique setting in what is otherwise a highly suburban neighborhood, that year a local teacher asked to bring her students to the farm for a hands-on experience.
Knowing that this was more than a busy vegetable farmer could take on, Field Day Farmer Ivor Chodkowski recognized the need for a farm-based food education program that encouraged participants to touch, smell, taste, hear and observe the plants and animals on the farm.
With the goal of developing educational programs, Field Day Farm conducted a pilot education project in 2005 to test the idea of exposing young people to working models of urban agriculture through on-farm experiential education programs. That season, farm staff facilitated monthly educational programs for school classes, public school faculty summer institutes, and summer camp groups.
After much success and positive feedback from the pilot project, a nonprofit educational agency was formed to work in partnership with Field Day Farm to bring urban communities in Louisville back to the roots of their food. In June of 2006 the Food Literacy Project at Oxmoor Farm was born.
Began the pilot education program on Field Day Family Farm
Established the Food Literacy Project as a 501c3 non-profit. Formed a board, and Carol Gundersen was hired as the new Executive Director. Programming was volunteer-led.
Established the Youth Learning Garden. Launched the Entrepreneurial Youth Development program. 1,500 students got their hands dirty on the farm with hands-on experience.
Began the Professional Development program. Opened the Program Office, and established a Garden Pavilion. Held the first Family Farm Day.
Launched the Multi-Visit Field-to-Fork program to deepen student connections with the farm
Served every JCPS environmental magnet school student with the Field-to-Fork Program. Connected the Multi-Visit program with a Family Program. Began building the Outdoor Teaching Kitchen. Held the first Field-to-Fork Dinner.
Opened the Outdoor Teaching Kitchen with First Lady Jane Beshear cutting the ribbon. Began the Youth Service Internship program. Over 3,000 students got their hands dirty on the farm. Hired the first Farm-Based Educators. Expanded the Entrepreneurial Youth
Hired the first Program Coordinator. Reached 15,000 volunteer hours.
Opened an Administrative Office and Learning Center. Received our first national foundation grant from Johnson & Johnson.
Received our first Federal Grant (USDA). Launched the Field-to-Fork After School Clubs with family engagement and food access.
Received Her Royal Highness Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, for a visit. Launched the Truck Farm.
Celebrated our 10 year anniversary with the fact that more than 40,000 youth and their families discovered the power of fresh vegetables. Established the Perennial Society.
Launched programming at Iroquois Urban Farm. Established the Iroquois High School A2G program partnership, expanding YCAP to both summer and academic year tracks.
Hired the first Community Youth Food Leaders, expanding YCAP to year-round opportunities for teens and young adults. Began the management of South Points Farmers’ Market. Celebrated the groundbreaking on Iroquois Urban Farm for construction of a Teaching Pavilion
Spearheaded a robust community engagement effort; connecting with community members and neighbors, building community support and sharing messages about healthy lifestyles, environmental stewardship and community transformation. Worked with neighbors and stakeholders to formalize the Iroquois Urban Farm Community