The New Yorker!!!
We have a lot of new visitors - welcome! I know that a lot of you are here due to a recently published article in The New Yorker. Welcome to Pickleball Farm! My husband and I started this non-profit back in 2020 in the height of the pandemic. We have huge goals to just reach as many youth as possible; through pickleball, farming, motivational speaking, and just general outreach to everyone.
This was all my husband's idea. How can we use the space we have, to give to those in need. It all started with his dream. We have 10 acres - let's grow food to donate! That seemed like an "easy" task - but honestly neither of us have really gardened before. We successfully grew a few green beans and a few cucumbers in 2016 in a small backyard "garden" but that was it. This is when YouTube came into play. He started watching every. single. possible gardening video, and we were off.
We partnered with a local non-profit who donated food on a weekly basis to those in need, and as food was ready, we donated it. He then started looking into what possible grants and programs were out there for this. He stumbled across the NRCS website, and the next thing I know, we're putting in for a grant for a high tunnel!! AND we were awarded the grant.
As all of this is going on, he is traveling to tournaments and starts offering free youth clinics to kids in the cities he is traveling to. Denver, Wyoming, Atlanta, just to name a few. A friend of ours works at a youth detention center here in VA and said he often plays pickleball with the boys and asked my husband if he would like to come down to speak and play pickleball with the boys. He did and that just started a new trajectory for him.
Thus far he has gone to facilities in VA, NJ, and Florida to speak to the kids, donate equipment, and teach the kids how to play. He often will eat lunch with them, and just be a regular person to the kids, who look like him, and he can relate to a lot of them with how he grew up. Paddles have been donated/given to us by the amazing pickleball community, we've also purchased purchased so many paddles, and his paddle sponsor has donated paddles to us too. We (ourselves) have purchased the nets to give to the facilities, the majority of the time is from our own monies.
While all this is happening, we are expanding the garden, prepping beds, and when he is not on the road he is in the garden working. I join him in the evenings and weekends after I finish my job. While it is in the midst of summer, we are already planning our fall garden and getting more beds ready for it!
This is just a very short post about us, and what we're doing here. I will keep this updated with how things are going. Also check out our Facebook page, and instagram as we often post there too. And for fun, we will post on tiktok as well.