Soil to Soul was started in Tuckerton, New Jersey in 2018 as a demonstration food forest, and consulting agency, with a small market garden, focused on regenerative agriculture, education, and community food security.
Using permaculture principles and guidance from food forest literature, a multi-year plan was developed and began to be put into place for creating a food forest (or forest garden), creating Soil to Soul as a destination for nourishment, education, mentoring, demonstration, and relaxation for the community.
Soil to Soul was created also to serve as a resource for knowledge and experience with improving community and regional food systems. Assistance is available with initiating increased fresh food access, conducting community food assessments, address food deserts, forming community food policy councils, improving farmers markets, linking fresh food access with the health care system or schools and much more.
The mission of Soil to Soul is to demonstrate edible landscaping and food forest gardening to the community, and inspire, mentor, educate, and support folks who wish to improve their health, the health of the environment through home-scale, sustainable food production.
Soil to Soil also seeks to restore and improve on the land through its practices and produce nutritious food for the community year round using permaculture practices and principles.
Jeanine Cava is the founder and lead consultant and educator at Soil to Soul. Her professional and academic roots have been firmly planted in sustainability and environmental restoration for more than a decade. Both her undergraduate and graduate research at Rutgers and NJIT, and the experience of Superstorm Sandy led her to focus intensively on food systems and improving local food availability and awareness for her community.
This led her to live, work and learn in a rural farming community in Northern California where she further developed her sustainable agriculture, permaculture, and edible landscaping acumen, working on sustainably-managed CSAs, then for a health center that prescribed home gardens to patients, and instructing garden and farm-based nutrition education programming for children and adults.
Jeanine is a single mom, and an undergraduate instructor at Georgian Court University, where she teaches environmental sustainability and new economics, as well as a member of the staff of the Little Egg Harbor School District where she enthusiastically coordinates the beautiful school garden for the Early Childhood Center.
She is motivated and empowered by the need for greater food justice in the world, as well as by the knowledge that perennial polyculture (food forests and sustainable farming practices) can indeed make a big impact on climate change if broadly adopted. The Garden State is a great place to make that happen!