About Us

Our Mission

  • We inspire positive personal and community change by bringing people together around food and agriculture.
  • We partner with youth and people with low-incomes to create empowering individual & community food solutions.
  • We offer tools & trainings to help build a just & sustainable food system.

We work in Thurston & Mason counties in Washington State.

Our acknowledgements: As a food-growing organization we give thanks to indigenous peoples worldwide who for thousands of years have been the stewards of the seeds that become the foods and medicines that nourish all of us. May our work honor the Squaxin Tribe, on whose land our farm now sits; Bonnie Turner, whose legacy of kind-hearted generosity allows this work to flourish; and all of the young people who share their energy, creativity and compassion with us year after year. This is an old story, this is a new story, this is the same story; different than before. Thank you to all those who make our work possible!

Our Programs

Youth Programs

Photo of GRuB youth doing a trust-building exercise.

Through our GRuB in the Schools Initiative, disengaged and/or low-income students earn credits while learning about and contributing to their local food systems. We focus on the themes of Farming Self (personal development), Farming Land (sustainable land stewardship), & Farming Community (civic engagement & community service).

We also engage PreK-12 youth in hands-on learning about soil, plants, food, and community through field trips to our farm.  We help them explore the question, “Where does our food come from?”

Kitchen Garden Project

Photo of Leah and Jess finishing up a KGP garden.

Gardens and good food naturally connect and inspire people to grow together while improving community self-reliance and health. GRuB partners with lower-income people to create projects that increase access to healthy food.

Since 1993, we have worked alongside volunteers and gardeners to build more than 2,300 backyard and community gardens, host workshops, and provide support, training, and resources for new gardeners to find success. Our goal is for gardeners to build the skills and connections to organize good food projects in their own neighborhoods.

GRuB Organizational Accomplishments

  • GRuB was named 2002 Youth Advocate Organization of the Year by Community Youth Services.
  • In the fall of 2002, led the formation of the Cascadia Youth Gardening Coalition involving youth gardening projects from Seattle, Tacoma, Portland, and of course, Olympia.
  • GRuB is presented with the 2005 Human Rights Award by the Thurston Council on Cultural Diversity and Human Rights.
  • 2004 hosts of the 6th Annual Rooted in Community National Conference for 130 youth and adults from around the country who focused on issues of youth empowerment and food justice.
  • 2004 Champions for Kids Award, presented to Co-directors by the City of Olympia.
  • Established the Hunger Free Thurston County Coalition and Food Bank Growers Coalition in 2005.
  • Co-hosted 2 regional food system trainings with The Food Project in 2005 and 2006.
  • Recognized as the 3rd Healthiest Business in the State by the 2006 Governor’s Community Health Bowl.

  • In 2006, GRuB was Awarded a 3-year Community Food Project Grant from the USDA in partnership with the Hunger Free Thurston County Coalition.
  • Built the first ever Community Garden on Olympia Parks property in 2007.
  • Received funding from the Washington State Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development (CTED) to help build a “green” farmhouse at the GRuB Farm in 2007.
  • In 2008, we successfully completed our 3-year Capital Campaign to purchase 2 acres of urban farmland and construct a 3,000 sq ft “green” farmhouse as a permanent home for staff and programs.
  • Built our second community garden in 2008 in Rochester, a low-income community in rural Thurston County.
  • GRuB’s Kitchen Garden Project has built over 2,200 free gardens for low-income families since 1993.
  • Through dropout prevention, summer employment, educational farm-based field trips, and horticultural therapy programs, thousands of local youth have developed themselves as important stewards of sustainable food production and responsible community work since 1996.