Q&A With Microgrant Recipient Landon


Meet microgrant recipient Landon (15) from NY who created a community vegetable garden at Bay Shore United Methodist Church. The objective of the project, Soil2Salad, is to engage children & adolescents from underserved communities in gardening to raise awareness about the importance of agriculture in promoting food sustainability and food security.  

  1. What inspired you to start this project? Living next to a nature preserve and visiting local and commercial farms with my family fostered my initial curiosity about the environment and environmental stewardship, ultimately leading to my interest in food production and security. Few challenges seem more urgent to me than determining how to protect our food supply and feed the roughly 8 billion people on Earth. My interest in food security and sustainability was piqued after reading that 1 in 4 adults in Long Island faced food insecurity and 41% of food-insecure people in Suffolk County are not eligible for nutrition assistance programs. These sobering statistics seemed incomprehensible since we live in the wealthiest nation in the history of the world. I wanted to help people affected by food insecurity, especially younger generations, take control of their food supply. Teaching people how to grow a garden in their local community or even their backyard seemed like the perfect method to help empower others. After much thought and planning I approached a local pastor with my idea to create a community garden on the church grounds. The pastor was enthusiastic about my idea and offered her full support. Since that day, we have had significant interest from community members who learned about the concept of creating a garden to engage and teach members about food security.  
  2. While working on your project, what surprised you? I was surprised by the tremendous support I received from the surrounding community.  There was a desire for the community to create a garden that they could help grow and also learn from.  
  3. What do you feel you learned from this experience? I learned how important it is to teach people about the importance of food sustainability. The community was able to grow their own food and appreciate the work that is involved in creating a successful garden.  I learned that once people understood how fragile our food system is, they were eager to become more involved and take initiative in creating their own sense of “food sovereignty.”
  4. How did Karma for Cara impact your project? This project would not have been possible without the generous support of Karma for Cara.  I am grateful to have support from such an impactful organization. Thank you!
  5. How will your project continue to impact others? This past summer we grew and donated over 500 pounds of vegetables which were donated to a local food pantry. We look forward to improving on our successes during the summer of 2023.
  6. How many hours did you spend on your project? 200
  7. How many youth volunteers or students were involved in your project? 4
  8. How many total hours did other youth volunteers or students spend on your project? 20