What 2020 does to a new nonprofit

Like everyone, this past year threw us a curveball. At the start of 2020, Blossom & Wood was a young nonprofit fresh off the excitement of our official nonprofit status. We had new partnerships in the works and recruited more board members. We made BIG plans for 2020.

Then COVID hit.

All our plans changed. Our in-person education sessions halted. The big harvest gathering was canceled. Volunteer assemblies diminished and partnerships were altered. Our fundraising promotions and social media quieted to give space for social justice movements. We weren't sure where to restart. Before long, we decided to move forward with our mission, slowly and cautiously. If there was ever time to inspire people to find joy with nature and connect with others outdoors, it was now.

Blossom & Wood shook off the initial shock of a pandemic to get our hands dirty, quite literally, and grow our big project, the Benson Food Forest. We designed 3 raised garden beds using donated materials. Meanwhile, Fork N Farm, our partners in the Benson Food Forest, planted 13 more trees and berry bushes, built a greenhouse and donated over 600 pounds of produce. We dug, watered, harvested, pulled 50 million weeds. Maybe not that many, but sure felt like it! We began to dream again, connected with a landscape architect and drew up our master design for the food forest.

We also found a new way to reach people - virtually. Sarah and Meaghan, two founding members, laughed as they dug through their fridge for a virtual live “chopped” style challenge with Saving Grace Perishable Food Rescue. They compiled tips and ideas on reducing food waste through a series of short videos. Meghan happily cooked up daylilies (yes, we ate daylilies!) for Earth Day Omaha to show our community what backyard food forestry is all about.

So while our social media promotion decreased and our fundraising efforts halted, we kept going behind the scenes. We dug into what really mattered, and that was growing our food forest dream and connecting in real time, virtually, with our community.

Blossom & Wood feels invigorated and ready for a new year. Please join us as we get back to regular promotions, back to connecting with our community, back to fundraising for the Benson Food Forest. Look for more blog posts where we will share our dream and vision for the next year. Here’s to 2021!

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