Posted by Richard Hull on Jan 25, 2021
Rotary Club of Olympia
The Wheel
Date: 1/25/21

Today’s Program: Garden-Raised Bounty (GRuB)

Meeting Called to order: by President Sean Paget @ 12:02 pm

Invocation by: Geoff Crooks


Chris Woods announced the Boys and Girls Club Youth of the Year competition that will see five young adults from our local region giving speeches in front of panel of judges and being interviewed this Wednesday evening, with one going onto the State competition. Sarah, Youth of the Year candidate from Olympia then practiced her speech in front of the assembled Rotarians.

President Sean reported that the Club had received a nice letter from Gerald Arnold of the Salvation Army thanking us for the $2,067 raised over the Holiday season.

President Sean then announced four Paul Harris fellows; Cyndi Zechmann (+2), Jim Young (+3), Jim Rantz (+3), and Sharon Weinberg (+1).

Doug Marr reminded us all that Valentine's day is coming. Gateway Rotary Club has a fundraiser where for $55 you can secure a red rose bouquet and chocolates, or just a mixed rose bouquet for only $35 with contactless drive-thru pickup. Order on-line at

Kyle Cronk, as a precursor to his presentation next week, previewed select results of Social Justice / Anti-Racist Task Force survey and announced that he is excited to present next week.

Cyndi Zechmann introduced Laurie Maricle who was then inducted into our Club by President Sean.  Laurie has lived in Olympia for over 30 years, is a retired teacher, and Director of the Governor’s Mansion Foundation.

Program: Garden-Raised Bounty (GRuB)

Paul Knox introduced Deb Crockett, Executive Director of Garden-Raised Bounty (GRuB) and Beau Gromley, an Army veteran, who runs the garden work at GRuB.

Deb started by sharing that GRuB can trace its origins back to 1993, since when it has helped create over 3,000 backyard gardens.

Today, GRuB focuses on providing Youth programs at Westside Farm, Victory Farm and Victory Garden Project, Wild Foods and Medicines programming, and assorted field trips, workshops, food access programming and work with volunteers.

In answer to a question, Deb described how GRuB is funded by a variety of sources including grants from Haggen’s, the Nisqually tribe, and others to support staffing, fundraising from local businesses, and grants from local organizations such as Rotary. It was noted that our Community Grants program has assisted GRuB in several previous years before this year’s Rotary District Grant.

Deb shared that GRuB’s Youth programs have engaged 15-20 youth per season in farm work, food preparation, food justice learning, and 21st century skills such as team-building and communication. In 2021 the goal is to expand this to have the youths even more involved in farming including running small teams.

She also discussed how GRuB’s Wild food and Medicines programming includes a “tend, gather and grow” curriculum, tribal educator cohorts, teacher training, and community workshops.

Beau talked about the Community Food Solutions program - currently supported by our Rotary District Grant which funds garden supplies - where volunteers work with households with low incomes to build home gardens. Usually, this involves 4-6 volunteers working with the garden family to build 3 wooden raised beds. With COVID-19, this has been limited to staff along with limited volunteers from the same household.

Community Food Solutions is aiming for 50 more backyard gardens in 2021 (30 families are waiting on deck), and looking to continue to innovate around how to safely and responsibly involve Rotary volunteers.

More information on how Rotarians can get involved will be circulated by Paul in the next short while.  More information on GRuB can be found at, and Beau ( is also happy to answer any other questions.

Meeting adjourned at 12:48 pm