Local Food Hero Award
to be presented at the
9th Annual Santa Barbara Community Seed Swap
11-3pm, January 29, 2017, Free
Santa Barbara Downtown Library, Faulkner Gallery
At the 9th Annual Santa Barbara Community Seed Swap, once again we will present a Local Food Hero Award, this time the honor goes to Judy Sims.
Judy Sims contribution to local food systems starts at the very beginning, with the child!
An elementary school teacher who taught for many years at Monte Vista school, Judy Sims used her classroom to teach children about the environment through gardens, incorporating outdoor areas into all her teaching practices. What kind of gardens? Butterfly gardens, raised bed gardens, and a remarkable half acre ethno botany garden & nature trail, that demonstrates the importance of California native plants. Later, along with permaculture friends, students & other community members, Judy in 2005 installed the very first Food Forest/Orchard Garden located at a Santa Barbara public school site.
Judy always had programs and projects in mind, not just for her own classroom & students, but for the entire school. Judy and students began growing food from the gardens for a weekly farmers market, where parents shopped when picking up their kids after school. Eventually, with funds raised from the farmers market, a salad bar lunch program was initiated into the school cafeteria, an award winning pilot project, that was later adopted district-wide. A worm farm project Judy and students created diverted school food lunch waste from the trash, instead converting it into rich compost for the gardens.
In time Judy retired from teaching, but never from gardening. In 2009, she joined the s’Cool Garden team at Santa Barbara City College Center for Sustainability as education coordinator, a part of the Orfalea Foundation School Food Initiative project, where over 25 local county schools were assisted in starting up and maintaining school gardens.
A longtime passionate community activist, Judy has been a key participant in many local garden organizations and projects. With typical creative energy, Judy helped create Trinity Gardens, Santa Barbara’s newest community garden. Located on the grounds of Trinity Lutheran Church, it is a unique community garden, where individuals can rent plots, but in addition, a large communal growing area exists with a farm manager, growing fresh produce for food banks and other organizations who help with the needy. She volunteers and developed the docent program for La Huerta Historic Gardens at the Old Mission, where early California Mission era plants are researched & grown .
Seed saving is a passion of Judy’s, we are grateful for her participation every year with the Annual Santa Barbara Community Seed Swap, providing all the kids activities, and sharing seeds collected from her many garden sources. In assisting the future for children and gardens, in 2015 Judy helped create the first Growing Edible Education Symposium.
Gardeners, parents, kids, and community members salute Judy Sims, we thank her for her commitment and contribution to gardens, seed saving, and our Santa Barbara food system. She has inspired young and old and in between for many decades.
Past recipients for the Santa Barbara Local Food Hero award include Marshall Chrostowski (Pacifica Market Garden), Lorenz Schaller(Kusa Seed Society), Matt Buckmaster (Island Seed & Feed), and Oscar Carmona (Healing Grounds Nursery).
The Local Food Hero award is an international award developed by Vandana Shiva & the Navdanya Foundation to honor those involved in protecting seeds and contributing to a healthy sustainable food system. More than 70% of the world’s food comes from small farms and gardens. In honoring Local Food Heroes, we are recognizing the real foundation of food security, and making a commitment to strengthen this foundation.
~ Santa Barbara Annual Community Seed Swap ~
FACEBOOK PAGE https://www.facebook.com/groups/632203483488117/
community program hosted by Santa Barbara Permaculture Network Non-profit
Co-Sponsors: Island Seed & Feed, Botanical Interest Seeds, Santa Barbara Seed Savers Guild,
Healing Grounds Nursery, & the Santa Barbara Farmers Markets