Darrie Ganzhorn: Transforming Land & Lives at Homeless Garden Project [Ep. 124]

If you only have two minutes, click here for a highlight from the interview.

Darrie Ganzhorn is the executive director of Santa Cruz’s Homeless Garden Project, an incredible nonprofit that provides job training, transitional employment and support services to those in need on an organic farm and garden.  Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Ganzhorn studied marine biology at UC Berkeley. She worked at the Hopkins Marine Station after graduation, but when her son was born, she had an epiphany. “I didn’t want to do research anymore. I wanted to do something based on human needs. I wanted to do something that was more basic and vital,” Ganzhorn said in her interview. She found meaningful work at the Homeless Garden Project, where she interned in 1991 when she began working one-on-one with Project trainees, not long after the Project was started by UCSC philosophy professor and social visionary Paul Lee.  Darrie has held various positions at the Homeless Garden Project evolved. She provides a multi-year perspective on the development of this internationally known organization.

Homeless Garden Project-7.jpg


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Growing Hope, part 1  & Growing Hope, part 2 (This thirty minute video, narrated by Harrison Ford was filmed in 1996 and shows the beginnings of the homeless garden project. DVD available here.)

Book: Unearthing Seeds of Fire: The Idea of Highlander

HGP Blog Post: Here, Amongst the Flowers and Vegetables

Permaculture Action Network


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LIFT Economy is an impact consulting firm whose mission is to create, model, and share a locally self-reliant economy that works for the benefit of all life.


Andrew Baskin, Partner & Executive Producer at LIFT Economy, specializes in regenerative ag-related enterprise and impact investing that advances the health of our soil, food-system, and climate.  You can email Andrew at andrew@lifteconomy.com.


Kevin Bayuk, Co-founder and Partner at LIFT Economy, works at the intersection of ecology and economy where permaculture design meets next economy organizations intent on meeting human needs while enhancing the conditions conducive to all life. He is the Senior Financial Fellow at Project Drawdown and a founding partner of the Urban Permaculture Institute.  You can follow Kevin on Twitter @kevinbayuk or email him kevin@lifteconomy.com.