Dublin Students Grow and Donate Microgreens for Schools, Charity

A group of students in Dublin who call themselves “Gardeners of the Galaxy” lead an initiative providing microgreens they grow themselves to help feed local charities and schools.

They were awarded a $1,500 mini-grant from the city of Dublin’s Youth Advisory Committee to help fund their operations.

“I was very happy to see that the city of Dublin’s Youth Advisory Committee awarded Gardeners of the Galaxy with a substantial grant to continue their fine work in cultivating microgreens, which have provided healthy food options to the students at the Dublin Unified School District, Tri-Valley food pantries, and others in need,” said Dublin Mayor Melissa Hernandez.

“It is so inspiring to see these young people in our community take the mantle to address hunger and nutrition,” she added.

The Gardeners of the Galaxy group was founded in 2019 as a business but transformed into a nonprofit initiative in 2020. It was Arjun Karur-Parekh that recognized the need to fight against food insecurity and hunger.

“The Gardeners of the Galaxy was created based on the idea and inspiration of that founder Arjun Karur-Parekh had when his parents — who are both doctors — informed him about the food insecurity situation in the community, particularly exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said vice president Hari Ganesh.

Arjun and Neel Karur-Parekh, Preston Chiu, Nico Singh, and Ganesh are among the five members who work together to develop microgreens in coconut coir, growing media, and seeds from High Mowing Organic Seeds.

They produce 15 to 25 trays each week in 10 x 20 inch trays in a permitted and licensed garage with an Alameda County home grower certification.

“Arjun and Neel grow the microgreens at their home, producing 15-25 trays per week. They handle the entire process from cultivation to harvest, while their parents assist with deliveries,” said Ganesh.

They offer their raw and fresh greens to Culinary Angels Food Pantry and the charity group Fertile GroundWorks, who prepare and serve the greens to people in need.

In addition to contributing, Gardeners of the Galaxy microgreens are offered as fresh salads at Dublin High School, an effort organized by director of nutritional services Frank Castro.

Gardeners of the Galaxy are expected to have fed approximately 6,400 individuals since the beginning of 2023.

In the future, they intend to increase their outreach efforts and donate to additional schools and organizations in need. They also hope to expand by recruiting more members and establishing new growing areas.

“As for the future, we envision further growth and impact. We aspire to expand our donations to Emerald High School, Eden Housing, and other potential recipients. We aim to extend our reach to more schools and organizations in Pleasanton, while also striving to recruit additional team members and establish new growing locations,” said Ganesh.

“By doing so, we hope to make a significant and lasting difference in our community,” he added.

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