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First Acre Program
Do you want to feed people and build community? So do we! We will donate the first acre of seed if you are willing to donate 75% of the produce that you harvest on that acre. In 4 easy steps you will be well on your way to healthy soils and healthy communities.
MILPA Garden First Acre Program
The milpa technique originated in Central America where the Mayans used a mixture of corn, squash, and beans to improve the soil and grow food. To increase the spread of milpa gardening, while increasing soil and community health, we offer a program which provides an acre’s worth (35 pounds) of MILPA Garden Seed Mix for free. The only requirement is that the grower agrees to donate 75% of their harvest to a local food bank or charity.
7 great reasons to plant a MILPA Garden
- The attraction of beneficial insects and detraction of harmful insects.
- Sharing of resources between the plants. These resources include water, essential nutrients, soil and ecology.
- The different species of plants coexist and work together.
- Nitrogen Fixation (Soil Building Benefits)
- Provide habitat for both pollinators and wildlife.
- Improve soil and water health.
- Microbial activity within the soil.
It all starts with a seed…
(lots of them)
- Hubam Clover
- Crimson Clover
- Spring Peas
- Mung Beans
- Impact Forage Collards
- Swiss Chard
- Daikon Radish
- Beet Cylindra
- Early Prolific Straightneck Squash
- Black Beauty Squash
- Spaghetti Squash
- Butternut Squash
- Buttercup Squash
- Table Queen Squash
- National Pickler Cucumber
- Lemon Cucumber
- Hales Best Jumbo Melon
- Sugar Baby Watermelon
- Micky Lee Watermelon
- Pie Pumpkins
- Mini Mix Pumpkins
- Gourd Blend
- Mammoth Sunflowers
- Black Oil Sunflowers
- Flower Mix
Interested in donating a MILPA Garden?
You don’t need any land to make an impact on community and soil health. Through our new MILPA Garden pay-it-forward program, you can purchase seed that we’ll pass on to a grower committed to the MILPA Garden Program.
Fill out this simple form to get started. To qualify for the free seed, you must be willing to donate at least 75% of the harvested produce from the free seed acre to a food-bank or charity of your choice. After you complete the form and submit it, we will email you a unique coupon code that you can use during the purchasing process to receive your free seed.
After receiving your unique coupon code, head over to the MILPA Garden product page, select your quantity and add to cart. During the checkout process, enter your unique coupon code to receive the free seed (up to 35# – enough for 1 acre)
When your produce is ripe and ready, gather the crew and begin the harvest. We encourage you to reach out to community groups, 4-H clubs and church groups to come and help with the harvesting process – especially since you will likely want to harvest on a weekly basis once the garden is in full production. Donate the produce to local food banks, homeless shelters, nursing homes, schools or other entities that might enjoy fresh produce. Keep track of the volunteer hours and pounds of produce donated. Take lots of pictures and share the program on social media for all to enjoy and be inspired by!
At the end of the growing season, we will be reaching out to each of the First Acre participants to gather the data on volunteer hours and pounds of produce harvested and donated. We welcome your stories and pictures and with your permission, we will share them on our website for others to learn from and be encouraged by. We may even give out some prizes for Most Productive Milpa Garden, Hardest Working Crew, Best Pictures, etc… This is a relatively new program so we are all learning together and together we can make it even better and bless more people in the years to come!