Radicle Wellness Growing Home-Health-Gardens

Radicle Wellness strengthens individual, family, & community health through plant-based stewardship of our home & community spaces.

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Eligibility Criteria

  • I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria and terms of the Act for Biodiversity Challenge and that I am eligible to apply.

Initiative's representative name

Jen Schlaich

Initiative's representative date of birth

09.06.1985

Initiative's representative gender

  • Woman

Headquarters location: country

  • United States

Headquarters location: city

Bishop

Where are you making a difference?

SAME

Website or social media url(s)

www.radiclewellness.com; https://www.instagram.com/radicleapothecary/

Date Started

August 2018

Project Stage

  • Start-up (first few activities have happened)

Yearly Budget : What is your current yearly budget for the initiative?

  • €1k - €10k

Organization Type

  • For-profit

1. Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this project to succeed.

While growing gardens instead of lawns may seem like a small act, at least at first, I often imagine my neighborhood if others also focused on the diversity possible within their home-spaces. Over the first year, as I’ve transitioned my yard from a lawn to over 40 diverse plants, I am reminded of a radicle, the first part of a seedling that emerges from the seed during germination. Beginning as a sprout, this radicle grows downward into the soil to anchor the plant and provide the foundation for all else that will unfold. With people, as with plants, there is a need for a strong and healthy foundation from which to thrive. I believe this foundation begins with how we care for our home-spaces and that one garden can inspire hundreds.

2. The problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

The majority of home-spaces in America are either lawn, concrete, or a combination of the two. Monocultures in our urban and rural environments result in a decrease in biodiversity and a lack of habitat for wildlife, not to mention the negative impacts on human health. Additionally, in my locale, much of the land is controlled by outside entities who dictate land use, export water, and further compound the health of the environment.

3. Your solution: How are you working to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

Radicle Wellness strengthens individual, family, and community health through plant-based stewardship of our home and community spaces. Plant-by-plant we seek to empower individuals to play a role in their everyday health. Through helping families design, install, and grow Home Health Gardens, Radicle Wellness work to increases access to and understanding of plants while creating more diverse urban spaces that nourish our human and non-human communities. Radicle Wellness also works to increase the biodiversity in ones diet for increased wellness as well as the biodiversity in the neighborhood which positively impacts pollinators, birds, and other species and re-vitlizes our human-plant connections and re-inspire the responsibility of place-based stewardship. Thus far, Radicle Wellness has established a Home Health Teaching Garden that serves as a tangible example of the diversity that is possible in urban spaces and regularly offers workshops in regenerative agriculture and herbal medicine. Radicle Wellness also works individually with clients to provide herbal consultations and is engaged in partnerships with private land owners for medicinal plant propagation.

4. Innovation: How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solve the problem?

By starting small, within our home space, Radicle Wellness promotes Home Health Gardens that look at home-scapes as medicine for both humans and our environment. Increasing biodiversity in our landscapes and in our diets contributes to human and environmental resiliency. With land access issues in our locale, starting small and inspiring others to diversify their home spaces is an innovative approach to address a lack of access to land and land/water control of by outside entities. Through collective action, small urban land owners can significantly add to the biodiversity in our community. Through tending our home spaces, our yards move away from monocultures to become functional, beautiful, and an integral part of the living ecosystem

5. Collaboration: How does your initiative seek to bring key players together to preserve biodiversity?

Radicle Wellness’s approach engages urban homeowners as well as rural land owners who are interested in diversifying their landscapes. In the future, Radicle Wellness aims to work with local non-profits, land trusts, and health clinics to incentivize biodiversity. In collaborating with local health clinics Radicle Wellness seeks to connect human health with the health of our environment. Our ancestors, who lived in closer relationship with place, are estimated 80,000-222,000 different phytochemicals in their yearly diets (Spelman, n.d.). Today, the number of plant species ingested and thus our exposure to phytochemicals has drastically decreased. This erosion of human engagement with biodiversity has led to simplified human diets and, according to Dr. Spelman, can be linked to many modern-day diseases. As we re-vitalize the diversity that is inherent in the natural world, we again remember the connection between our health and the health of our environment.

6. Impact: how has your project made a difference so far — in terms of both business outputs and social impact? How do you plan on measuring progress?

The first Home Health Garden was installed in 2019 at my home which is also the office space for Radicle Wellness and includes an herbal apothecary and herbal medicine clinic. Beginning at home, I wanted to serve as an example for others and showcase, through an urban teaching garden, the diversity that is possible in small urban spaces. During the first year, through collaboration with non-profits such as The Gardens Edge and Qachuu Aloom farmers Cooperate from Guatemala, Radicle Wellness hosted plant knowledge exchanges which highlight the biodiversity of people through the lens of sharing about cross-cultural plants. Radicle Wellness was also a part of the Independent Project Press’s Community Art Walk during which the business and gardens were open to the community for tours and local art from the Wild Roots Forest School was displayed. This event brought hundreds of community members into the clinic, apothecary and garden space and has begun to inspire others to create gardens.

7. Growth strategies: what are your main strategies for scaling your impact?

Growth strategies include: city policy reform to allow for city beekeeping, grant writing to offset the cost to provide reduced cost Home Health Garden installations, hiring Home Health Garden installation teams, increasing the diversity of plant starts and bioregional seeds available to other gardeners, a local medicinal plant product line (teas, syrups, hydrosols), and increasing partnerships with private land owners for increased land access for further diversification.

8. Creating shared value: How does your initiative create value for society? Or different stakeholders?

Radicle Wellness Home Health Gardens create shared value through diversifying urban spaces; through reconnecting individuals and families to their health (by growing Home Health Gardens) people are empowered to again play a role in tending both their health and their environment. As spaces are biodiversified, the community will gain increased access to local foods and medicines and gardens will facilitate sharing of plants and knowledge amongst neighbors. Building biodiversity will build community collaboration, community health, and also create habitat for other animal populations.

9. Financial sustainability plan: can you tell us about your plan to fund your project and how that plan will be sustainable in the short, medium, and long term?

In the short-term, Radicle Wellness is being partially funded through an Airbnb; one room of the business is available for short-term stays which allows guests to experience the Home Health Teaching Garden and learn what is possible in transitioning small spaces into gardens. Most of the guests have been from Los Angeles (LA); due to exportation of water by LA the Airbnb extends the reach of the project and allow guests to re-think the impact their lives have on a rural town 250 miles to the north. During the fall of 2020 Radicle Wellness will apply for a small business grant and will continue to seek start-up funds. In the long-term finances will be diversified through herbal consults, a small-scale product line, and garden installations.

10. Team: what is the current composition of your current team (types of roles, qualifications, full-time vs. part-time, board members, etc.), and how do you plan to evolve the team’s composition as the project grows?

Currently Radicle Wellness exists as a single member LLC but is in partnership with other organizations (such as The Gardens Edge and Qachuu Aloom) and private land owners. Radicle Wellness has also been in regular contact with David Strelneck of Nourishᶰ (The Nourishment Economies Coalition) during the start-up phase of the business. As the company grows, and grant funding is secured, additional staff will be hired and incentives will be provided to turn home spaces into biodiverse gardens.

11. How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Word of mouth

Evaluation results

7 evaluations so far

1. 1) OVERALL EVALUATION

Yes, absolutely! - 42.9%

Yes/maybe - 42.9%

Maybe - 14.3%

Maybe/no - 0%

No - 0%

2. 2) CONNECTION TO BIODIVERSITY

5 —Absolutely! It’s crystal clear how the solution is directly contributing to preserving and/or restoring biodiversity. - 42.9%

4—Yes, it establishes a clear connection to biodiversity. - 42.9%

3—Somewhat, the entry speaks to biodiversity but the direct impact is not well established and/or it is focused on a single species without considering its impact on the broader ecosystem - 14.3%

2—Not really, the connection to biodiversity is weak - 0%

1—No. The entry does not reference the solution’s impact on biodiversity. - 0%

3. 3) Is this entry IMPACTFUL?

5 -Yes, absolutely! - 42.9%

4- Yes, I think so. - 42.9%

3- Maybe. - 14.3%

2- Probably not. - 0%

1- No. - 0%

4. 4) Is this entry INNOVATIVE?

5 -Yes, absolutely! - 28.6%

4- Yes, I think so. - 57.1%

3- Maybe. - 14.3%

2- Probably not. - 0%

1- No. - 0%

5. 5) Is this entry VIABLE financially and operationally?

5 -Yes, absolutely! - 14.3%

4- Yes, I think so. - 57.1%

3- Maybe. - 14.3%

2- Probably not. - 14.3%

1- No. - 0%

6. 6) Is this entry ACTIVATING CHANGEMAKING?

5 -Yes, absolutely! - 57.1%

4- Yes, I think so. - 28.6%

3- Maybe. - 14.3%

2- Probably not. - 0%

1- No. - 0%

7. 7) Does this entry value COLLABORATION WITH OTHER STAKEHOLDERS in its approach?

5- Yes, absolutely! - 28.6%

4- Yes, I think ko. - 42.9%

3- Maybe. - 28.6%

2- Probably not. - 0%

1- No. - 0%

8. 8) FEEDBACK – Highlights

INNOVATION: You have a great understanding of the problem, have researched existing solutions, and have developed unique, thoughtful new solutions - 60%

IMPACT: You use specific numbers and evidence to describe what your project has achieved so far (or plan to achieve in the future) and you have a plan for measuring impact - 100%

GROWTH & LEADERSHIP POTENTIAL: You have a thoughtful plan for growth and your founding team has a strong combination of leadership and knowledge-based skills - 60%

VIABIBLITY: You have given a great deal of thought to not just the idea itself but how to make it work from a financial perspective in the present and future - 60%

CHANGEMAKING ACTIVATION: You value thinking around how to activate changemakers and empower them to innovate through your product or programming - 80%

POTENTIAL TO CREATE SHARED VALUE: You have a clearly defined plan on how to maximize shared value across multiple sectors and stakeholders - 60%

WRITING STYLE: Your writing style is concise, descriptive, clear, and specific - 0%

Other option - 0%

9. 9) FEEDBACK - Areas for Improvement

INNOVATION: Be more specific in your description of the research you have done into the past solutions to this problem and focus on how your solution is unique and innovative - 0%

IMPACT: Provide specific instances of your social impact and how you plan to measure impact – it may be helpful to describe the beneficiaries, products and programming, and provide evidence of (or plan for) how to measure impact - 0%

GROWTH & LEADERSHIP POTENTIAL: Your plan for growing the organization can benefit from more specifics. How can you round out the various skills of your current leadership team to make the project a long-term success? - 100%

VIABILITY: Make sure you have provided descriptive information about your financial sustainability plan. Where do the funds come from now and do you have a concrete plan for future sustainability? - 75%

POTENTIAL TO CREATE SHARED VALUE: your plan can benefit from more thought on how to create value for all stakeholders, not just immediate beneficiaries - 75%

WRITING STYLE: Try to be more concise, descriptive, clear, and specific. Avoid jargon. - 25%

Nothing – I thought everything was great! - 25%

CHANGEMAKING ACTIVATION: Try to provide more insights into how you are activating changemakers and empowering them to innovate through your product or programming - 0%

Other option - 0%

5 comments

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Photo of Stephanie H. Ambar

Radicle Wellness Growing Home-Health-Gardens  is a wonderful initiative for urban areas, Jen! Congratulations for the great work and collaboration with other organizations. As a social innovation project, it would be interesting to start a plan on how to expand the team (financially and people's profile/skills wise). Also, by reading your project I remembered of an awesome example for home sustainable biodiverse gardens and other sustainability projects in a Co-op hour-bank model to convene volunteers, which is done by the Watershed Management Group in Tucson, you can see a summary here and also get in touch with them if you'd like: https://watershedmg.org/learn/co-op/basics . Here is how they organize the different types of services as well: https://watershedmg.org/services/home.
wish you all the best continuing your great work!

Spam
Photo of Jen

Stephanie,

Thank you for the thoughtful feedback, new ideas, and links to other impactful projects. I will definitely look into the resources you shared and continue to learn/adapt my model as it grows. Thanks again.

In gratitude, Jen

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