Part II: Meet Gabi! Volunteering at the Rooftop Garden in San Juan, PR

When we first created our new bilingual ¡Números, Baby!, we knew that beyond sharing the book through public fora, free author events, and donations, we also wanted to find additional meaningful ways to give back to the communities that inspired each page.

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Through collaboration with World Central Kitchen (WCK), a trail-blazing nonprofit food assistance organization founded by DC-based chef and humanitarian José Andrés, we’ve been able to just that: Baby Ventures™ proudly donates a portion of all sales of ¡Números, Baby! to WCK’s disaster response in Latin America and beyond.

Thanks to WCK, we were also able to participate in a rewarding volunteer opportunity during our visit to San Juan, Puerto Rico this past May: Through WCK’s innovative Plow to Plate Program, we spent the day gardening at the Rooftop Garden, an urban farm and micro-greenery recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Maria.

Gabi, the welcoming owner of the Rooftop Garden, greeted us early in the morning as we set out to assist him in his daily work on the farm. Located in the heart of San Juan, Gabi’s beautiful patch of land is home to organic micro-greens, a dazzling array of edible flowers, and an impressive compost operation that enriches his produce while reducing his waste.

 

 

Gabi’s micro-greens and edible flowers are a hit at the local farmer’s markets. His singular passion for the soil (and soul) of his island is infused in every stunning package of greens and edible flowers he creates. Despite substantial damage to his farm and operations from Hurricane Maria, Gabi and his colleagues have diligently set out to rebuild – literally one seed at a time – and they’re making incredible progress.

 

 

For Lisa and I, the experience of mixing the soil, planting seeds for Gabi’s next harvest, and hearing about the farm’s steady return to its former glory was both incredibly moving and humbling. We’re not sure how much help we were to Gabi, but without question, he was a tremendous source of inspiration for us. Not to mention, we’ll forever savor the farm-to-fork salad Gabi prepared for us! We can’t thank you enough for hosting us, Gabi, and we can’t wait to visit the Rooftop Garden again soon!

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In the wake of Hurricane Maria, many have sought to assist Puerto Rico’s communities in a meaningful way. As the locals told us, visiting Puerto Rico is a great place to start. We couldn’t agree more. And when you do, please consider volunteering at farms like Gabi’s through WCK’s Plow to Plate Program. Can’t make the trip in person? No problem – please support this innovative program through your generous donation instead.

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We are forever grateful to both WCK and Gabi for hosting us at the Rooftop Garden. ¡Muchas gracias por esta increíble oportunidad!

Sinceramente,

Golzar y Lisa