EarthDance plays well with others! By collaborating with like-minded organizations and individuals, we maximize engagement with the community and increase our impact. Would you like to partner with EarthDance? Contact Chelsea Burdge at firstname.lastname@example.org!
EarthDance works with mission partners to grow the good food movement.
EarthDance partners with St. Stephens Episcopal Church to promote healthy eating in Ferguson. EarthDance sells fresh produce year-round at the Ferguson Winter Market/the Vine located at Saint Stephens on the third Saturday of the month, November-April. Saint Stephens has also provided EarthDance with office equipment and space to host events; EarthDance is pleased to support St. Stephen’s food pantry and monthly Clay Cafe community meal with produce donations.
The Missouri Coalition for the Environment (MCE) conducted a St. Louis Regional Food Study in 2014 to bring together organizations and individuals to address the Greater St. Louis area’s food system needs. EarthDance then became a member of the St. Louis Food Policy Coalition (STLFPC) in 2015 when it was formed to promote a thriving food system that supports the health, community, environment, and economy of the greater St. Louis area.
EarthDance Farm Manager, Eric Stevens serves on the Slow Food St. Louis board. EarthDance and Slow Food co-promote events through a shared mission to support local foods patronage. We’re excited to continue to host and promote events to increase interest in local foods in the area.
EarthDance Founder, Molly Rockamann, serves on the Midwest Organic & Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) board of directors, contributing her insight to MOSES’ grower education efforts. In 2018 EarthDance and a delegation of Missouri and Illinois Farmers traveled to MOSES on a charter bus to tour specialty crop farms and attend the conference, an event that EarthDance hopes to organize annually in future years.
EarthDance is proud to sell certified organic produce fresh from the Farm at the Ferguson Farmers Market every Saturday throughout the season (May-October). Through support from a USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program grant, EarthDance is working in partnership with Ferguson Farmers Market to promote the market and agritourism in Ferguson with a goal of increasing customer interest in local foods shopping. As part of this initiative, EarthDance offers complimentary rides on the Jolly Trolley to the farm from the market for a free farm tour on Saturdays at 10 am.
EarthDance works with program partners to add value to our farm-based educational offerings.
Yoga Buzz has worked with EarthDance since 2013 to offer yoga opportunities at EarthDance. Seeking a permanent home for this activity on the farm, EarthDance and Yoga Buzz partnered to create a living yoga studio, located in a portion of EarthDance’s greenhouse. Yoga Buzz’s yoga teachers will begin leading free classes in the space in fall 2018.
EarthDance is a member of the St. Louis Green Teen Alliance, a coalition of organizations that offer teens paid employment at environmentally focused work sites; it was formed in 2014 to grow the future of the green workforce by engaging youth from historically marginalized communities in environmental work. In partnership with members of the Green Teen Alliance, EarthDance provides job training and enrichment activities to the teen participants of the coalition partners programs.
Dietetics students from Fontbonne University regularly work as interns with EarthDance, assisting with nutrition and cooking related curriculum for Youth Exploring Agriculture and Health (YEAH!) participants.
In 2017, past EarthDance Farm Manager Matt Lebon launched Custom Foodscaping. The company offers consultation, design, and installation services to realize your edible landscaping, garden or permaculture goals. EarthDance and Custom Foodscaping have partnered to provide education and coaching to support the Urban Orchards project, an initiative of Incarnate Word Foundation and Missouri Foundation for Health to train and equip 5 local agencies to develop community orchards on reclaimed vacant city lots.
Dietetics students at Florissant Valley Community College regularly intern with EarthDance in order to gain experience working in a community setting. These interns have training in leading cooking demonstrations, educating about nutrition, and helping individuals set wellness goals. They assist with nutrition and cooking related curriculum for Youth Exploring Agriculture and Health (YEAH!) Participants.
EarthDance partners with STL Youth Jobs to enhance our teen jobs program, the Junior Farm Crew. STL Youth Jobs provides all its youth participants with job coaching and financial literacy education and supports the program through a cost-share with EarthDance for the JFC members’ wages.
Soul Fisher Ministry provides tutoring and enrichment opportunities for young people in Ferguson who have an incarcerated parent. In 2016, Soul Fisher Ministry youth participated in lessons on healthy eating, fun physical activity, and farming at EarthDance.
In 2014-2016 EarthDance collaborated with OASIS to host Catch Healthy Habits, an 8-week series of classes for young people on healthy eating and fitness. Catch is lead by OASIS’ senior volunteer corps. On-farm sessions include farm enrichment activities like feeding chickens, tasting herbs, and making fresh salsa.
This summer camp promotes leadership and academic achievement among African-American young men in Ferguson. From 2014-2016, the SHMT summer campers have visited EarthDance each summer to participate in Catch Healthy Habits. In 2017, the campers participated in EarthDance’s pilot intergenerational gardening program.
EarthDance has numerous partnerships with FFSD, including selling produce to the school lunch program and offering taste-tests; serving as a host site for the district’s Work Experience Program and welcoming hundreds of Ferguson-Florissant students to the farm every year for field trips.
EarthDance’s resource partners contribute staffing and or material support to the organization.
EarthDance partners with organizations such as AmeriCorps and the Episcopal Service Corps to provide full-time paid positions to their members. Currently, the role of Youth Education Coordinator at EarthDance is enabled through our partnership with ESC.
Les Dames d’Escoffier St. Louis Chapter has supported EarthDance by providing Farm & Garden Apprenticeship scholarships, volunteering on the Farm, and creating small bites for a series of on-farm Taste & Tour events to introduce new supporters to EarthDance and to promote our annual Farmers Formal.
EarthDance co-hosts the St. Louis Permaculture Design Course with Jason Gerhardt, founder of Real Earth Design. Real Earth Design is also developing permaculture designs for EarthDance’s campus plan including a parking area that incorporates a u-pick field, farm stand, bike parking, innovative green infrastructure, and edible forest gardens.
Rausch Tree Service brings new employees to the Farm to teach them how to properly care for trees. In return, EarthDance receives free tree care services for our many wonderful trees and donated leaf mulch collected by Rausch.
Hardin Lawn Service has beautified EarthDance’s campus by removing old tree stumps and problematic trees. Hardin also brings us chips from other properties.
Students from Crossroads College Preparatory School often volunteer at EarthDance through the school’s Good Works group, helping with weeding, planting, harvesting and composting projects.
EarthDance has teamed up with Saint Louis University’s Community Service Work Study program to offer federal work-study-eligible students the opportunity to earn $10/hr while interning at EarthDance.
In the Fall of 2017, the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership built a Little Free Library box on EarthDance’s demonstration garden, facing Dade Avenue, to offer free books to the public. EarthDance plans to build a seating area and an edible garden surrounding the box to complete the Little Free Library.
Since 2013, Mission: STL has served as an “umbrella” host site for other organizations, including EarthDance, to host AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) members for a year of community service in roles such as volunteer coordinator, development associate, and outreach coordinator.
EarthDance educates youth and tour visitors about backyard poultry by showcasing The Easy Chickens’ moveable coop and laying hens in our Seven Generations Garden.
In 2009, Gateway Greening supported EarthDance’s initial acquisition of tools and supplies as a community garden. More recently, Gateway Greening and EarthDance have collaborated to enhance one another’s teen farming programs. Gateway Greening regularly directs visiting volunteer groups to service at EarthDance.
Operation Food Search is a hunger relief agency offering food donations and culinary/nutrition education for low-income youth, families, and seniors. Since 2013, Operation Food Search has utilized EarthDance’s surplus produce in its Cooking Matters classes.
Since 2010, EarthDance has partnered with AmeriCorps programs to host AmeriCorps VISTA and AmeriCorps State members. AmeriCorps is a service opportunity enabling its members to earn a modest stipend, health benefits, and an education award for a year-long commitment to community service with a host agency. AmeriCorps members have transformed EarthDance’s operations through their efforts in development, program enhancement, youth education, marketing, and volunteer coordination.
The Ferguson Library, OASIS, Strength and Honor Mentoring and Tutoring and the Soul Fisher Ministries have all been key partners in CATCH Healthy Habits with Let’s Read, Let’s Move program which operated at EarthDance 2014-2016.