Food For Thought

OAEC collaborates with Food For Thought (FFT), a Sonoma County food bank serving people with HIV/AIDS and other critical illnesses, to maintain a robust one-acre garden at the facility that provides fresh produce for 700 clients. The Mother Garden Biodiversity Program considers the FFT garden to be its most prominent daughter garden.

Doug Gosling, Mother Garden Biodiversity Program Director, helped to establish the garden at FFT in 1999. Doug currently manages and maintains the garden with the help of a dedicated team of FFT volunteers. The garden at FFT has evolved into a core program of the food bank.

Food For Thought garden

Partnership History

food for thought logoBefore OAEC was established and this 80-acre property was stewarded by the Center for Seven Generations, all of the produce generated by the gardens was donated to Food For Thought in the early 1990s.

Keeping in the spirit of this collaboration, Doug Gosling and Rachel Gardner, now FFT’s Deputy Executive Director and Client Services Manager, worked together to create a garden in the backyard of Henry House, then the Sonoma County AIDS hospice. The partnership continued to evolve when OAEC worked with FFT to create a garden around the new Food For Thought Building in 1999.


Here are the ways that OAEC supports our oldest daughter garden at the Food For Thought Food Bank:

  • Doug Gosling, Director of the Mother Garden Biodiversity Program, manages and maintains the garden with a team of FFT volunteers, many of whom are also OAEC garden volunteers.
  • OAEC donates $3,000 worth of perennial plants and annual starts of flowers, veggies and herbs annually.
  • OAEC co-sponsors and supports Calabash, one of the most important fundraisers for the food bank.
  • OAEC supports Project Africa, a committee dedicated to working with food programs in Africa for people affected by HIV/AIDS. OAEC donates seeds from the Mother Garden to Hope Initiatives, a soup kitchen for AIDS orphans in Windhoek, Namibia. We also host Hope Initiatives staff when they come to the United States, and co-sponsor Project Africa fundraisers.


Food For Thought Project Africa