What is Free Mulch?
Free Mulch Incorporated is the For Purpose organization housed within our farm. Our mission is to grow farmers. Free Mulch is a registered 501c3 not for profit organized exclusively for educational and charitable purposes related to sustainable agriculture.
True sustainability includes all three legs of the stool. Ecological, Social, and Financial. Our farm has been successful in growing organic food for thousands of people to eat and distributing it across North and Central Florida. The biggest challenge we face is finding reliable, skilled, efficient people who want a career in agriculture. If we truly want a sustainable farm and food security in our region, we need to grow more farmers! We hope one day to pass on our farm to people who are passionate, capable, and motivated to continue feeding our community with healthy food.
Our mission is to grow farmers.
Provide a structured path for aspiring and beginning farmers to learn hands-on job skills and develop their own farm businesses.
Create an incubator model and to connect individuals with a deeper working knowledge of, and appreciation for, organic farming systems.
Our goal is to complement (and not duplicate) the work already being done by other organizations, by providing an interface for the public with a working farm/production agriculture. This is important because we need for as many people as possible to value keeping farms alive in our community for food security and open space preservation. We are inspired by models such as ALBA and Viva Farms.
Provide experiential training in organic farming, sustainable agriculture and environmental stewardship. Provide a lower-risk environment for people to develop their own farming businesses.
We have access to sixty-three acres of certified organic farmland, irrigation and equipment in Alachua County, Florida. We have built a regional distribution system under a respected brand. We hope to leverage these resources to help new farmers achieve success on their own future farms, and to develop the skills of farm managers who will one day take over production at Frog Song Organics. The Southeast U.S. has unmet demand for locally grown and certified organic agricultural products.
This organization was started by Candace Jones-Herreros, who then partnered with Amy Van Scoik of Frog Song Organics. Read her story and inspiration for Free Mulch here.
Help Us Reach Our Goals!
Year 1: Host four field trips for high-school students who may be interested in jobs on the farm and careers in farming. Host at least two farm tours, fundraising events, and connect with local high schools, Santa Fe College, and University of Florida to get the word out. Develop the incubator and training program with funding and qualified personnel.
Year 2: Begin the first year of the incubator program by providing experiential education to at least two college student mentors and two high school job trainees. Develop incubator model.
Year 3: Continue programming with college and high school students. Host first year of farmer-entrepreneurs in the incubator program.
About Us: Opportunities and resources are everywhere. We want to connect people to the natural resources and social capital of our farm, and to opportunities in careers in agriculture. Our goal is to get people to come and pick up the free mulch.
Contact Us: firstname.lastname@example.org