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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Seeds of Solidarity Education Center Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Food, Food Programs, Youth Development

Mission: Food and Hunger

Target demographics: low income youth, schools and families grow food everywhere

Geographic areas served: Massachusetts and beyond

Programs: gardens that transform hunger and promote health and nutrition, youth leadership, renewable energy and sustainable agriculture as antidotes to climate change.

Community Stories

79 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Seeds is a wonderful example of living your life and matching your life style with a humanistic , planet caring, highly moral set of personal principles. Seeds is a model which many can follow and learn from.

Josh39

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Terrific organization that helps teens find deeper meaning in food, relationships, and themselves.

stanhabib

Donor

Rating: 5

Seeds of Solidarity is a wonderful example of individuals who not only profess good morals and values but they live their life incorporating this model as well

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

Seeds of Solidarity Education Center has been an organization devoted to educating on healthy eating and healthy growing of food. It prides itself on purely organic , non chemical farming. In addition it educates on how to perform such farming close to home or even at home. A major part of the Center is to educate and provide an enriching and educational experience for individuals of all ages and including younger ages such as teens. Their work has been in progress for many years and is admired by all who know and understand their contribution to health, sustainability and "growing food everywhere."

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As a teacher at the local high school, I see student after student transformed after being involved with the SOL (Seeds of Leadership) program. I also love driving around town and seeing the Grow Food Everywhere gardens that are the result of a resident's involvement in this Seeds of Solidarity program.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Seeds of Solidarity is responsible for numerous outreach programs I have seen in action in our North Quabbin communities. Staff help people of all ages understand our relationship with the land through agriculture. They come to our schools, libraries, and community centers as well as running programs at their farm. They represent an important community resource.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The teen program changed my life for the better! I found who I am wanted to be and used teachings from SOL to become the person I am now! I now plan to teach my son the same techniques and practices and plan on teaching him the life skills I learned here

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is such a great program, so badly needed, and run by such wonderful genuine people! They have done so many great things for the youth in our area, teaching them about our earth and showing them a better path. This picture is me with Rick, the co-founder - they had me there to give a cooking class. Great fun! They came to my cafe and installed raised gardens with herbs and veggies. They are amazing.

Zetta R.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Seeds of Solidarity has helped me and so many people that I know not only learn about sustainability but also about themselves and how to help the community in countless ways.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have known this organization for years, They have brought wonderful education to our area in Orange and are a non-stop inspiration to others. You can grow food anywhere and they work to teach that every day.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Community, education, social justice work, and local pride. Everything adds up to an amazing NP in a region that thrives on their work. Cannot say enough positive things about Seeds of Solidarity!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Seeds of Solidarity and the people I've met there have become a second family to me. Deb and Ricky were so supportive of my ambitions throughout my time volunteering with them and they continue to be supportive and loving today. The other staff at Seeds of Solidarity are also fantastic and I have connected deeply with each and every one of them. Seeds of Solidarity is a place filled with love, learning and an opening of the mind. It's because of my work with them that I continue to do activism and community based work today.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

SOL garden is what brought me out of my shell, and in a lot of ways made me who I am today. It gave me the tools to succeed, and I took them to college with me. I'll be back to visit!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I interned for Seeds of Solidarity for a few years and it was the best decision of my life to become part of it. I met some amazing people and learned so much, not just about gardening and healthy living, but also the importance of having an open mind and just getting outside. Seeds of Solidarity is an amazing organization that really opens up new worlds and opportunities for a lot of people that you wouldn't think were out there.

Kerry T.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Seeds of Solidarity does wonderful work in central Massachusetts to help youth learn organic gardening and to provide education to the public. They are co-founders of the North Quabbin Garlic & Arts Festival, which brings people from all over Massachusetts to learn about sustainable practices. We moved to Orange, MA this year and knowing about the great work that Seeds of Solidarity is doing was one of the reasons why we chose this town.

Nancy274

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Our nutrition education conference was fortunate to have Deb Habib present workshops for us in March 2016 that were not only informative but fun! Attendees learned simple ways to plant food no matter if you live in the country or the city! We also learned some great tasting ways to prepare what we grow. Everyone left the workshops inspired to grow a garden!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Seeds of Solidarity has been making a wonderful difference all over the North Quabbin area; they've helped schools and motivated students to get involved in sustainable agriculture, and the Garlic and Arts Festival is probably the best event of its kind I've seen. Every student I know who's been involved with SOS has nothing but great things to say about them. As a past educator I have watched SOS working with and inspiring students to be the best they can be.

1 RobertEB

Donor

Rating: 5

Every time I visit SOS I'm more impressed with the work they're doing. Teaching people, to grow organic food, to live in rythem with nature and feel more at peace within, is so despertly needed, especially in todays fast pace environment. Their work with teens is especially inspiring to me.

Previous Stories
1

Donor

Rating: 5

I donate to SOS every year because I believe strongly in their mission. They are raising consciousness and teaching people in their community how to live a more ecologically sound life. They work with teenagers and the elderly and everyone in between to, as their motto says, grow food everywhere. I only hope their work will serve as an example for the whole country of what can be accomplished in creating a greener community.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Over the years, I've known several youngsters who interned in Orange with the Seeds of Solidarity Education Center Inc. Always, I was highly impressed with what the youngsters learned & how they went on in the world. What a wonderful way to share vital information about growing food, sustainability, caring for the environment & others.

1 Caroline39

Former staff

Rating: 5

I interned at Seeds of Solidarity for the growing season of 2006. To this day, it is still one of the most wonderful memories of my life. I learned so much about growing food, sustainable living as well as healthy family dynamics and earth-centered spirituality. I am so grateful to know that Rick and Deb continue in their work and a little bit of my heart will always be with them.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I support Seeds and Solidarity and their mission while enjoying the farm stand in the summer with the most delicious, fresh, economically priced, and gorgeous vegetables! Eating good food is one of the best things we can do for our health. Knowing that Seeds of Solidarity helps schools and many groups learn how to grow food everywhere is so important. This is one of the most crucial missions and I hope your work continues to spread far and wide! Thank you Seeds of Solidarity!!!!!

Shelley30

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Seeds of solidarity is a reawakening to all things simple and good! Educating people on how to be sustainable and involved in caring deeply for life on this planet is a huge job! This amazing non-profit has this in spades.

I am truly honored to be living so closely to this "movement" and to be able to connect with these remarkable visionaries!

Mary386

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Seeds is a farm to school, farm to hospital, farm to people powerhouse of learning, love and original thought. Without Seeds of Solidarity there would be no Garlic Festival, a yearly event that celebrates the harvest with a tribute to the mighty garlic , a fitting talisman for the natural phenomenon that is Seeds of Solidarity. Their land stewardship can be witnessed seasonally with a teaching farm and homestead that are off the grid yet in the hearts of many.

Cathy98

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Seeds of Solidarity has been crucial to the ongoing work of rebuilding our local economy and reshaping local visions for the future in more sustainable and responsible ways!

writing goddess

Client Served

Rating: 5

What an amazing group of dedicated individuals working to bring good food and wise choices back into education. The education of children and adults and bringing Food Everywhere. Such beautiful work. I am so grateful to have Seeds of Solidarity as a part of my community. Grow More Food Everywhere.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Seeds of Solidarity has added a great way for the children to learn how to eat. When the kids are responsible for the building of garden.... planting, watering, weeding, and all that goes into the garden. It gives them ownership. With that they are eager to try and eat more of what they grow... All my daycare kids have at least tried a couple of new veggies this year. Most cant wait to pick and put it on the lunch menu... The education that this program has given to me as a provider is also priceless. The rewards from the garden are shared with the families and friends that visit. As well as keeping us eating good all season. Thank you Seeds of Solidarity!!!!!

Karen369

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a daycare provider that received a garden from seeds of solidarity they have been very informative the children and their families and I have learned a lot and we have enjoyed a wonderful garden

Jenn25

Client Served

Rating: 5

The garden has help the children in my day care try new vegetables and the experience to grow their own food.

Jehann E.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Their work is a model for the world. They start with love, and they spread love. The high level of dedication to protecting the Earth, sharing knowledge about growing healthy food, sharing that food generously with their community, sharing their resources and time... They are world leaders as educators, community developers, and they are just downright good people that this planet needs! I wholeheartedly support, am grateful for and honored to know Seeds of Solidarity!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Seeds of Solidarity is a wonderful organization dedicated to making this a better world. Deb and Ricky are beautiful folks, kind and generous and knowledgeable about farming and deeply involved in their community.

Tracy94

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Seeds of Solidarity has partnered with my preschool and childcare program to help us install a raised bed, educated our staff, children, and families on ways to grow fresh vegetables, and ensured that we've been successful. Their expertise has led to our expansion to more revised beds, and the benefit of having the children eating fresh organic vegetables and inspiring a passion for nutrition. Deb & Ricky have a commitment to sharing their knowledge, forming partnerships with the community and its youth for a healthier future for all of us and our environment. Their passion is plentiful. Our area is fortunate to have them in our community.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Seeds of solidarity was the first place I ever went in western Massachusetts and 10 years later my mom still asks about it. Ricki and Deb are masters at building community through their teen program, farm, teaching apprentices and teachers in the area how to manage gardens, and the garlic and arts festival. Their commitment to the north quabbin makes them incredible ambassadors for all that the region has to offer - much of which they have had a hand in supporting. Seeds of solidarity is a magical place and an incredible resource.

Former staff

Rating: 5

I was part of their program all four years of high school. Deb and Ricky taught me so many valuable lessons about life, the importance of working for what you grow, and good food fuels the soul. They teach kids the importance of non-gmo growing and how you can do anything you want to accomplish. They deserve the world and so much more, but they never get the thank you they deserve. This is that opportunity. If you read this guys, thank you.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Seeds of Solidarity is an incredible organization- visionary, local, and full of integrity. From teaching youth how to grow food to educating the community about sustainability to helping to feed the local elders, they do good work with a big heart. They have been a crucial resource in our little corner of the world and beyond.

danielradin

Board Member

Rating: 5

Seeds of Solidarity stands out as an inspiration to the general public as well as to those doing similar work. They reconnect people to the Earth and to the act of growing their own food. Perhaps more important than the actual knowledge they impart is the sense of peace, connection, and empowerment that is spread by their work.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

I first met Ricky and Deb when we were all working together pioneering sustainable technologies at The New Alchemy Institute on Cape Cod in the 1980s. Through Seeds of Solidarity, they are continuing to do the work of leading people of all ages towards a lifestyle that is in harmony with the Earth and with humanity. The S.O.S. Education Center inspires and transforms the lives many people from near and far, and from school-aged to senior citizens. They are truly planting seeds that are spreading across the planet!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

SOS is always doing wonderful and important work for many in the North Quabbin area. They have educated and touched many. Many thanks for all they do!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

SOL Garden, a branch of SOS, has changed my high school experience by providing an inclusive environment and ears to listen. We have become a part of a family that grows love along with food. Its one of the only places I can feel welcome and do something productive that doesn't feel like work. I have created satisfying meals and friendships.

Earle B.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Greenhouses sprouting in public school yards, a young asthmatic boy working tirelessly learning to grow,, not just the greens in the soil but the gray matter and the soul.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Seeds of Solidarity is an inspiration! They are so true to their mission and inspire people to grow food everywhere!

Tracy93

Client Served

Rating: 5

Seeds of Solidarity is a fantastic organization! They worked with my Daycare and they are wonderful!

Pat_54

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Seeds of Solidarity is an amazing organization. The SOL Garden program works with many young people in the community and does a great job. SOS is also involved with many community projects and promotes the motto of "Grow Food Everywhere" in a very real way. I try to donate in some way each year to Seeds of Solidarity and appreciate all the work they do in Orange.

Amy_190

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Seeds of Solidarity is fantastic! The SOL program, which I have participating in as a professional, is outstanding, and their recent "Grow Food Everywhere" program reached a broad population.

Nikki12

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The work that Seeds of Solidarity does is profound. I had the privilege of interning with Seeds two summers ago. From building gardens at daycare provider sites to teaching teenage SOL Garden participants about food justice issues, I was impressed and moved by the impacts that Seeds' programs have on the North Quabbin community. There should be more organizations like this one!

Amy_186

Client Served

Rating: 5

Seeds of Solidarity Education Center has been a major catalyst in transforming our town of Orange, Massachusetts from a struggling abandoned mill town to a vibrant, green, community-powered place of possibilities. They put their principles into practice in concrete, practical ways that are inspiring to everyone who comes in contact with their works. A model of a great nonprofit!

Donor

Rating: 5

Seeds of Solidarity has provided remarkable and profound service to the North Quabbin. Seeds brings out the best in the community, understands how to encourage progressive and positive thinking, and helps us all be the best we can be. Seeds of Solidarity proves itself an exemplary citizen of the area day after day after day. Many thanks to Seeds of Solidarity.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What an amazing organization. I am proud to volunteer and proud to give a glowing review. SOS transforms lives whether it be the community members eating their delicious freshly grow food, the students who work the farm, the participants in their workshops, or the neighbors who live peacefully alongside the Center. They have nurtured and inspired resiliency in our not only our local community but surrounding ones, too. They talk the talk and walk the walk to "Grow Food Everywhere"!

merrilegs

Donor

Rating: 5

With great respect, admiration and even awe have I witnessed the growth and dedication of Seeds of Solidarity since their (practically penniless) inception nearly two decades ago. Deb and Ricky are unstoppable in their vision and dedication to 'awaken the power among youth, schools, and families to grow food everywhere to transform hunger to health and create resilient lives and communities.' I think we'd be hard-pressed to find a cause more worthy of our whole-hearted support.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

i remember when deb and ricky were wandering fields and scouting land to find the place they'd plant their seeds (this was after they walked the auschwitz-hiroshima peace walk). two decades ago! and levi...and now.....the passion and vision just keep on bursting forth in endlessly new forms. blessing us all.

Eliza S.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have tremendous respect for the work of Seeds of Solidarity Education Center. It would be wonderful if their work with youth, schools, families receiving public assistance, volunteers, and their community in general could be replicated around the country. What a better world this would be! Integrating values of sustainability, community, empowerment, integrity, genuineness, caring for the Earth, educating people to "Grow (nutritious yummy) Food Everywhere" -- this is their recipe for building a better world, and it works!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Seeds of Solidarity works within one of the poorest communities in Massachusetts. Giving people control over producing healthy food for their families is very empowering. Coaxing vegetables from the earth creates nourishment for our bodies but is also healing psychologically for people who have suffered trauma. We are very fortunate to have this vibrant nonprofit in our North Quabbin region.

Judith Roberts, Executive Director, The Literacy Project

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Seeds of Solidarity Eduction Center is an amazing organzation that has had a terrific impact on this community in North Central Massachusetts, known as the North Quabbin. People of all ages have been educated , in the most enjoyable and entertaining way, about growing food locally, protecting the environment, and forging community. I am an environmental activist and journalist and I write a weekly column for the Athol (MA) Daily News and have written about Seeds of Solidarity on several occasions. One article I wrote appears in a book I edited called "The Man Who Got Lost: North Quabbin Stories." The Center's founders, Ricky Baruc and Deb Habib are fine human beings who love life and who never tire of the work they do. They are also quite adorable.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We are a non-profit Family Resource Center. Seeds of Solidarity installed a raised bed in our backyard and every year helps us to get it seeded and planted. The families that come to our support groups and play groups maintain the garden and are given the fruits, vegetables, and herbs to bring home. Many families (who do not have yards) have become inspired to do container gardening and continue what they have learned at home.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I've been familiar with this organization for quite some time now. There inspiring programs and methods of working with youth and families are engaging. effective, and have changed the lives of many youth in the North Quabbin and beyond.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Seeds of Solidarity is a role model for best practices in building community, educating youth and community members about growing food, and bringing community together to address issues of hunger. More than just educating, Seeds of Solidarity empowers the people with whom they work. I am a local food advocate who writes an award-winning newspaper column about locally grown food and I regularly mention the work that Seeds of Solidarity, encouraging other organizations to follow the lead of SOS. I also am a donor to Seeds of Solidarity, because I know that every dollar I donate will be used effectively and creatively to further my vision of a world where everyone is empowered and has enough to eat.

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Deb and Ricky and their work at Seeds of Solidarity's farm and education center are daily inspiration for me and our community as a whole. I write a weekly newspaper column about locally grown food and am a community organizer focused on local food, hunger, and environmental issues. In my writing and organizing, I regularly use Seeds of Solidarity as an example of effective, practical and inspiring work to address issues of food security and environmental issues. Here are just a few of their projects that I admire and write about: SOS's work in developing school gardens in many area schools, the SOL Garden project and their empowerment work with local teens, their BRILLIANT project to plant and support home vegetable gardens for families with children who are experiencing food insecurity, their work to create a community food forum bringing together their neighbors to address ways to build food security in the community, and their work with the Garlic and Arts Festival to produce a fabulous, fun community event that enhances the local economy, educates the public on a range of environmental issues, and does all of that in the context of a trash-free event (3 bags of trash generated by 10s of thousands of festival-goers, everything else composted and recycled). I was so inspired by their trash-free event, I started a composting/recycling program for my town's fall festival modeled on it. G&A has been a role model for events all over this area. Seeds of Solidarity is a great gift for our local community and a powerful model for other communities. I am so grateful for their work.

MaryEllen K.

Donor

Rating: 5

This organization does so much - inspires youth with their power to make things grow, creating gardens at schools, daycare, senior center and other local institutions to involve others to provide themselves with healthy, local food. They also support the growth of other community organizations and aid local artists and craft people, enhancing the the cultural and economic vitality of the area.

Deb and Rick are so good at making connections which drive real improvements visible in the region! Their positive attitude is contagious and has drawn in a large and varied community of supporters.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Seeds of Solidarity is a productive, thoughtful, and positive force in the North Quabbin community. I've always been impressed by their effort and I think they offer a unique and important opportunity for the young people they serve.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Fantastic leaders in our communities on issues such as social equity and food access!

David255

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a supporter of Seeds of Solidarity for several years. Recently I was asked to present a program on native pollinators at the annual Food Forum and was impressed by the many enthusiastic participants and the general festive atmosphere as folks gathered to find out ways to improve their lives. Later this spring I was asked to spend a couple hours with the after school group relating my life experience in natural history and my lifelong learning quest. This was an amazing group of young people. Intelligent, alert, and passionate. I am thankful that these young adults have the guidance of the Seeds staff to help create the leaders of tomorrow which these folks will certainly become.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been blessed to work directly with Deb and to watch her walk her talk. She and Ricky have given so much time and love and care and attention and energy to the children, families and businesses in our community. Seeds of Solidarity is truly a boon to our region.

Ravens T.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Once again they go above and beyond expectations. Listening to peoples needs and providing the tools necessary for personal growth in every way. Hats off!

Vicki49

Donor

Rating: 5

Educate our children and all the generations flourish
Deb and Ricky have made that commitment over and
over again. Thank you for all you both do.

Donor

Rating: 5

My wife and I first learned of Seeds of Solidarity in 2010. We have been longtime supporters of the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY. While looking through their catalog of events for 2010 I came across one titled, "Grow Food Everywhere". I was intrigued and upon further reading found that they were from Orange, MA, less than a two hour drive from our home, lived on an off-the grid farm, and offered their events at their farm.

We attended a weekend seminar on sustainably growing your own food in August, 2010 at SOS. Meeting Deb and Ricky was not only inspiring, it was compelling as the enormity of their accomplished vision revealed itself during the program. Their intelligently thought out and designed home, green houses, planting areas, solar electric system shows that a deliberate intent to live gently within our enviornment, as opposed to bludgeoning it into submission, is possible and can be successful.

Seeds of Solidarity programs for youth in the greater Orange/North Quabbin area, building school gardens, food for the elderly, along with the now wildly successful North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival have a profound and positive impacts on the lives that are touched. Because of Deb and Ricky's compassionate caring and desire to be of service to their community, we have been and will continue to donate to their righteous and noble efforts.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have known of Seeds of Solidarity since their beginning in the late 1990s (1997 I think), and they just get better year after year. As a youth program SOL Garden is an important program for young people in the region. One inspiring part of this program is that a young teen may get involved in the organic gardening aspect of this program and then stay connected with Seeds of Solidarity for years after high school graduation. Seeds of Solidarity also fosters community and organic food growth in the local region. Their "Grow Food Everywhere" projects are an inspiration to many in the community and foster outreach to more and more people in the region.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am part of a program for teens that Seeds of Solidarity organized called SOL (Seeds of Leadership) Garden. I have been part of the group for 2 years and plan to stay active in it for at least the next 2 years of my high school career. SOL Garden has become like a second family to me. I feel like I can be myself there and truly open up. My work with Seeds of Solidarity has introduced me to tons of different topics such as composting, organic farming, and the benefits of buying local products. Seeds of Solidarity has helped me grow as a person and my work with them has been one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I cannot say enough about Seeds of Solidarity. They put together a winning combination of food, community and spirit. They do tremendous outreach on a small budget and are able to rally support from the community and volunteers to accomplish amazing goals - like running the annual Garlic and Arts Festival, planting vegetable gardens for the community with their Grow Food Everywhere campaign and training and providing support to so many area youth. The North Quabbin is where most of their outreach is performed and this is an under-served area with a lot of poverty and social need. It is an especially difficult place for older youth because of high unemployment and few recreational activities. Seeds of Solidarity provides guidance and nurturing to these youth, helping them to connect to the land and to feel accepted and loved.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I came to know Seeds of Solidarity through their annual Garlic and Arts Festival every fall. Then I went on an open-house tour of their wonderful solar farm. Deb and Ricky are true visionaries in organic gardening, living off the grid, promosting the artists of the North Quabbin area, and for being leaders with teens and other people in need in their community. I recently was approached to draw a small bumper sticker as a fund raiser for their organization. I couldn't have been happier to promote such loving and kind people in their endeavors.