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.
Pilot Education program begins on Field Day Family Farm
The Food Literacy Project is established as a 501c3 non-profit. A board is formed, and Carol Gundersen is hired as the new Executive Director. Programming is volunteer-led.
Volunteers establish the Youth Learning Garden. The Entrepreneurial Youth Development program launches. 1,500 students get their hands dirty on the farm.
The Professional Development program begins. The Program Office opens, and a Garden Pavilion is established. The first Family Farm Day is held.
The Multi-Visit Field-to-Fork program launches to deepen student connections with the farm.
Field-to-Fork Program serves every JCPS environmental magnet school student. A Family Program is connected to the Multi-Visit program. Building of the Outdoor Teaching Kitchen begins. The first Field-to-Fork Dinner is held.
First Lady Jane Beshear cuts ribbon to open Outdoor Teaching Kitchen. The Youth Service Internship program begins. Over 3,000 students get their hands dirty on the farm. The first Farm-Based Educators are hired. The Entrepreneurial Youth Development program
A Program Coordinator is hired. Volunteer hours reach 15,000.
An Administrative Office and Learning Center opens. The first national foundation grant is awarded from Johnson & Johnson.
First Federal Grant (USDA) is awarded. Field-to-Fork After School Clubs are launched with family engagement and food access.
Her Royal Highness Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall visits. Truck Farm is launched.
10 year anniversary celebrates more than 40,000 youth and their families discovering the power of fresh vegetables. The Perennial Society is established.
Iroquois Urban Farm programming is launched. Iroquois High School ATG program partnership is established, expanding YCAP to both summer and academic year tracks.
First Community Youth Food Leaders are hired, expanding YCAP to year-round opportunities for teens and young adults. Management of South Points Farmers Market begins. Groundbreaking on Iroquois Urban Farm for construction of a Teaching Pavilion and Outdoor Teaching