After a life-altering illness, U.S. Coast Guard veteran, Stepheni Norton, had to drastically change the way she ate. She asked her doctor if she could ‘garden a little’ in order to have a good supply of fresh vegetables, because at that time, fresh food was hard to come by in National City.
Stepheni’s ‘little gardening’ would eventually produce crops in abundance of what she and her family could eat. She and her husband Mike eventually started giving away the excess to friends, family and even a crop share.
They then decided to give the excess to Dreams for Change to help feed those that couldn’t afford to buy their own. By January 2016, Stepheni was submitting paperwork to turn her ‘little gardening’ passion into the thriving Dickinson Farm.
Through her current farm work, Stepheni trains low-income residents in National City to start organic gardens in their yard. That way all neighbors can share the (vegetable) wealth.
One of Stepheni’s most noteworthy accomplishments came recently when she completed the necessary requirements to pay for healthcare for her part-time employees – which she is not required by law. This is a rarity in the farming industry, but that only explains why Stepheni committed to doing it – she’s also a rarity.