project leader
Christian E
7100 Kinsman Rd
(Buckeye & Garden Valley)
latest update rss
Did you know....

the project

The goal of the project is to connect students from inner city Cleveland to urban agriculture. We hope to introduce the diverse connections gardening has to a healthy lifestyle, local food systems, and the creative process. We will engage kids aged 8-18 at Garden Valley Neighborhood Center community garden and the Passport Project arts center kitchen. The curriculum that takes the youth through an entrepreneurship process affords them the opportunity to understand every step from farm to plate, seed to sale. Young people are under especially a lot of stress after the year 2020 kept kids in Cleveland learning remotely from Home. Gardening is a great way to deal with stress, socialize in safe outdoor environments, and build healthy lifestyles. Our neighborhood of Cleveland is a food desert and gardens offer a crucial opportunity to connect families to fresh, healthy food. Cleveland’s amazing food industry feels cut off from so many inner city young people and we have a great opportunity to connect the career pipeline from school aged students to culinary careers.

MODEL Gardeners introduces young people to entrepreneurship through sustainability planning and growing into green business people. Our high quality out-of-school time programming educates kids on the health, lifestyle, and economic benefits of farm-to-table food systems by connecting it to Ohio Dept. of Education science and social studies learning standards. Our hybrid program includes in-person activities and virtual classes that extends the growing season through the Fall and into Winter 2021. Participants will give back to the community with a harvest celebration dinner that features garden fresh produce while showcasing their farm-to-plate knowledge and culinary skills. In the winter students will curate a collection of nature inspired art that celebrates our successful growing season presented as a black-tie awards gala featuring garden fresh hors d'oeuvres and student awards.

the steps

❏ Spring Sessions: May 9th - June 20th

     ❏ Virtual Sessions Covering Plant Science & Agriculture

     ❏ In-Person Hands-on garden days covering Gardening Basics & Safety, 

❏ Summer Sessions: July - August

     ❏ Virtual Sessions Covering Urban Gardening & Entrepreneurship

     ❏ Begin cooking & planning a Harvest Dinner Menu

❏ Fall Sessions: September - October

     ❏ Focus on Harvest Dinner planning & Customer Service

     ❏ In-Person Cooking & Cafe Menu Proposals/Presentations

     ❏ Fine Arts lessons and Project creations

❏ Winter Sessions: November - December

     ❏ Cooking Classes Studying Culinary Arts

     ❏ Social Engagement & Event planing for the Gala

     ❏ End of the year Awards Gala

why we're doing it

Garden Valley Community Center is one of the biggest food pantries in the region. It serves thousands of families in dire need with free food. Because our neighborhood is an urban food desert our neighbors are disconnected with the local food system. Being able to teach young people farm-to-plate practices at such a bustling community resource as the Garden Valley Neighborhood Center pantry introduces an invaluable educational opportunity in a community most in need. The culinary field is a career path with a low barrier to access in a culinary city such as Cleveland. MODEL Gardener cooking classes will combine food stuffs from the food pantry with garden produce to offer healthy meal option education – on a dime. During the summer teens will test recipes with their healthy homegrown fresh produce then pitch their menus to a local cafe to be featured on that restaurant's specials board. We have approached a number of cafes on Larchmere Ave, right in our community, with a lot of great response.

We have been running this program in this neighborhood for 2 years already, without funding. Christian Elder, Program Director is a TIL Fellow with the Cleveland Museum of Art allowing for curriculum development and coordination with CMA resources. We partner with Garden Valley Neighborhood Center, the Passport Project, and many local gardens. We volunteer at the Larchmere Plant Sale & are sponsored by the OSU Extension Summer Sprout Program.


Travel Expenses (Gas & Misc.) - $300

Garden Leader Stipends - $870

Soil - $585

Wood - $585 

Heavy Duty Tomato Planter with Trellis on Wheels - $85

Harvesting Sheers - $35

Aprons - $100

Root-Vue Farms - $40

Seeds for Microgreens - $45

Microgreen Growing Kit - $20

Window Planter Boxes - $120

Ceramic Flower Pots - $60

Picture Frames - $40

Glass Terrariums - $40

Succulents - $75

ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%)    $160
"ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%)(Donation processing fee does not apply to match funding.)"    $48
TOTAL TO RAISE=    $3,209
Donation processing fees apply to donations only. 100% of match funding goes to projects. Please note, fees are estimated here and final numbers may change based on the final amount raised and amount of match funding applied to this campaign.    


Did you know....

Did you know MODEL is an accronym?

MODEL- Mentoring Of Distunguesed & Empowered Ladies started in 2013 with a group of myself and like minded women who wanted to start a discussion group around womens issues on our campus. After college, I contuinued to build a framework for MODEL by shifting the primary objectives, inviting women to act as mentors, and providing fun opprotunites for girls seeking guidance. MODEL is dedicated to empowering young ladies and ignighting unity in our communities.

MODEL Gardners Club welcomes all people regardless of sexual orientation, gender or age to grow with us! Mentoring Of Dedicated & Empowered Leaders- MODEL will always strive to build people up and connect us to one another.

Look what we have started!

Starter Plants Homegrown from seeds (Apr. 2021)

Wow you guys! 

First, I must start with a huge THANK YOU for the outpour of support for this project!

MODEL Gardeners Club Cirriculum is a collection of project based learning experiances and activities I've been creating thoughtout my career. It is my hope that though this extensive cirrulum I am able to give young people an opprotunity to get their hands dirty in a new skill, build their self-esteem and realize their potential for great things. 

We are half-way there thanks to your curiosity & generosity. This fundraiser is a big next step for the project. Just as important, are the people and places that support our mission. If you or someone you know might be interested in being apart of MODEL Gardeners please feel free to contact me or hit the volunteer button on this page! 

Thak you for being a ray of sunshine. Thank you for helping us grow.  


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


  • Anonymous
  • Marsha M.
  • Secret Admirer
  • Veronica C.
  • Emma Werley
  • Krista H.
  • Allie H.
  • Imani-Walker
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Phyllis Hewitt
  • Jeremiah M.
  • Hannah H.
  • Hajnal E.
  • Alexis and Keith Baker
  • Blake M.
  • John M.
  • Rachel B.
  • Iesha M.
  • Joan M.
  • Khadijah F.
  • Kristiaun Joy
  • David Wright & Kai Wingo
  • Chelsea + Nick
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Lucrestia D.