501 W Sixth St #250
% Ryan Koch
Lexington KY 40508
Contact Information
Nonprofit SEEDLEAF
Address 501 W Sixth St #250
% Ryan Koch
Lexington, KY 40508
Phone (859) 967-8865
Contact Name Ryan Koch
Web and Social Media
Sowing on Ohio St
At A Glance
IRS Ruling Year 2007
Other ways to donate, support, or volunteer
  • Volunteer in any of our 15 community gardens. Please visit to see all of our volunteer opportunities. 
  • Make a monthly gift and become a member of the Seedleaf Perennial Club.
  • Join us for our Master Community Gardener and our Master Community Composter Trainings. Find details at
  • It also helps us when you tell your friends about our mission and why you support Seedleaf!
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expenses - All Years
Expense Breakdown - Recent Year
Mission Statement
The purpose of Seedleaf is to increase the amount, affordability, nutritional value, and sustainability of food available to people at risk of hunger in central Kentucky.
Seedleaf carries out its work through these activities:
  • Hands-on education in healthy, safe food production, preparation, and preservation
  • Technical assistance for individuals and groups engaged in food production, preparation, preservation, and distribution aimed at eliminating hunger and boosting community health
  • Demonstrations of successful, affordable, sustainable approaches to feeding the hungry through local food production, preparation, preservation, and distribution
  • Cultivation and distribution of nutritious food to charitable feeding programs
  • Education, job training, and entrepreneurial skills development in food production, preparation, preservation and distribution, boosting the food supply for community members at risk of hunger while simultaneously combating unemployment, under-employment, and juvenile delinquency
  • Volunteer recruitment, education, and management to increase the human power applied toward increasing food production and food security while simultaneously strengthening community connections and stemming community deterioration
Background Statement

Seedleaf first broke ground in April, 2007, at Amburgey Gardens in south Lexington. Snow was falling on a few brave souls as they turned the cold soil in preparation for a potato crop. Now entering our 10th growing season, Seedleaf is a vibrant non-profit organization committed to connecting people with food and caring for neglected spaces. Seedleaf harnesses the goodwill and energy of volunteers to install and maintain gardens throughout Lexington, growing gardeners and food along the way.

Impact Statement

During the 2016 growing season we maintained sixteen urban community gardens, had over 950 volunteers and participants, and coordinated over 600 hours of educational activities.  

Seedleaf initiated and managed a large range of educational events in 2016. We hosted weekly Get In the Garden (GIG) Events, and monthly Garden Grill Outs to cultivate social capital.

Seedleaf has also been a leader in developing composting initiatives in the city. Last year Seedleaf ‘recycled' nearly 40,000 gallons of food waste from downtown restaurants. This effort saves money for the city in waste management and landfill costs while generating rich soil for urban gardens.
Our goals for 2017 include:
  • Developing a 2 acre parcel to serve as the Seedleaf Urban Farm, a training space for aspiring gardeners.
  • Caring for 15 free u-pick community gardens in North Lexington.
  • Deploying our Master Community Gardener Trainees to help with our gardening and composting programs.
  • Plan for Seedleaf's financial future by creating a rainy-day fund to cover 6 months worth of operating expenses (goal of $60,000).
Needs Statement
Top 5 most pressing needs include:
  • Regular, committed volunteers ready to give 1-2 hours each week.
  • Regular, committed donors ready to give a meaningful gift each month (monthly giving helps tremendously with our planning).
  • Seedleaf advocates who can share our story and let their friends and families know about the good work Seedleaf is doing.
  • Garden Sponsors--Help Seedleaf maintain one of our community gardens for $4,800 each year.
  • Board Members--Seedleaf is actively looking for board members who can help us set and attain ambitious goals on behalf of food-insecure neighborhoods in Lexington.
CEO/Executive Director Statement Growing and sharing food continues to be the heartbeat of Seedleaf. Nothing thrills me more than explaining to our neighbors that they are welcome to pick those onions or those cherry tomatoes, and that we are glad that they came into the garden. Our volunteers make this possible: they are our unfair advantage. We are always glad to share the work with newcomers, so please join us when you can!
Board Chair Statement

Seedleaf is a nonprofit organization that exist to nourish communities by growing, cooking, sharing, and recycling food. Currently Seedleaf has 16 gardens in a variety of communities in Lexington that are located in food deserts.

Currently one of Seedleaf’ s biggest successes is the new parcel of land we have acquired for an urban farm which is located in downtown Lexington. The plans with this urban farm is to grow more fruits and vegetables, have more community members involved, and to use the farm for tours and educational opportunities throughout the community.

Some current successes that Seedleaf is having is with a program called SEEDS. SEEDS (Service, Education and Entrepreneurship in Downtown Spaces) is a summer youth program for kids who get the opportunity to learn about healthy food and healthy lifestyle choices. Students spend time outdoors growing food, cooking and learning about culinary jobs, selling produce to neighbors and making new friends. Seedleaf offers a community master gardener program to those who are interested in learning more about gardens and food deserts. Seedleaf also provides services such as the Compost Carpool, a residential food waste recycling service, and building raised beds for a small fee.

Probably the biggest challenge faced by Seedleaf is financial support. The addition of the Urban Farm this will become a large expense with Seedleaf. It would be great if we had additional funding to hire another staff person to help with this farm. Also, many people may know what Seedleaf is but haven’t taken the chance to get involved. It would be great to see more people involved by offering volunteer classes. The SEEDS program is a great success for our youth but funding it can be difficult. To fund one child through SEEDS is $500. By having more income we may be able to grow the SEEDS program and taken in more children and offer it at other times during the year besides June and July.

Currently I am the board president of Seedleaf. I got involved in Seedleaf because I believe in the mission. Food deserts affect everybody. I believe that families are entitled to have access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Many times when living in a food desert you aren’t blessed with this. Many of us take advantage of the fact that we can drive to any grocery store and pick out what we went to eat when we want it. Studies show that in food deserts, most families do not have access to transportation. Not having access to transportation limits what you are able to feed your family. When children are not fed right, studies show that they aren’t able to perform in school to their fullest potential. Programs like Seedleaf also teach important life skills such as gardening and cooking produce. Life skills are crucial for survival. Being involved with garden gives you a whole new skill set that you may not have currently had in your life. These skills are provided by Seedleaf at no cost to the community. Our gardens are free and open to all.

Geographic Areas Served
North Lexington, including the Central Sector, and neighbors at risk of food insecurity--healthy urban food deserts.
Impact Questions
GoalsHelpWhat is the organization aiming to accomplish? This is the organization's ultimate goal for intended impact.
Our goals for the growing season of 2017 include:
  • Deploy and support 15 newly-trained Master Community Gardeners to help us with the composting and the gardening programs. This allows to keep our operating costs low while we make meaningful volunteer commitments available to interested parties, and to broaden our reach to even more free u-pick gardens.
  • Grow and give away 300 pounds of fresh Fayette County produce in Lexington's food deserts. We are not a hand-out organization. Seedleaf invites those at risk of food insecurity to join us at harvest times and take the freshly-picked vegetables they know their family will appreciate. This endows the gift of food with some effort and thereby some value.
  • Install 50 Residential Raised Beds--gardens at homes that will allow more neighbors to get in on the fun of growing a bit of one's own food. This new service will help Seedleaf create a new income stream, and will help with our long-term sustainability. It may also prepare the way for future growers (perhaps the graduates of our youth programming) to have some sustainable green-collar jobs in urban agriculture here in Lexington.
  •  Further develop our 7 Micro-Farms. Seedleaf has been given the opportunity to grow food at a number of neglected plots of land and to cultivate urban orchards. In this way we hope to broaden and deepen access to healthy local fruits and nuts, as well as more familiar fruits and vegetables for our neighbors at risk of food insecurity, and to do so for the long term.
  • Complete a community garden signage project. Welcome signs and interpretive signage in Seedleaf gardens will increase community awareness of gardens as a free source of fresh food, and invite neighbors to explore the spaces and participate in the act of growing and harvesting their own produce.
StrategiesHelpWhat are the organization's strategies for its stated long-term goals?
  • 4Seedleaf continues to implement a -week training for volunteers willing to make a significant contribution of time to our organization. In the spring of each year we offer a Master Community Gardening Training. In 2016, 25 trainees acquired the skills and confidence to represent Seedleaf's aims at numerous garden events and composting opportunities throughout the growing season.  
  • Growing our sustainability as an organization is an essential part of achieving our long-term goals. Therefore, we aim to gain more recurring donors in the coming years, and have created a membership for these supporters called the Perennial Club.
CapabilitiesHelpWhat are the organization’s capabilities for doing this? What resources, capacities, and connections support its progress towards long-term goals? Seedleaf's most profound asset is the generosity and goodwill of our community. We maintain a core of committed volunteers to assist our small staff with garden maintenance throughout the growing season. Those who cannot give time assist by making regular contributions of funding or gifts-in-kind. We are humbled and grateful to be so consistently supported by our volunteers, customers, and contributors.
IndicatorsHelpHow will the organization know if it is making progress? What are the key qualitative and quantitative indicators against which the organization assesses its progress toward its intended impact? We continue to see more people interested in growing plants at home in a pot on the porch for the first time. We continue to hear of folks expanding their vegetable gardens, or beginning to keep chickens at home. We continue to hear that people are excited to support local farmers, and to cook with fresh seasonal vegetables at home. We continue to meet volunteers who spend enough time with us to gain the confidence to try some of these gardening or composting projects at home. All of these reports, these small changes, represent a culture recalibrating towards health. These small indicators help us press on, to continue to garden and cook and compost and to welcome anyone who will join us in this endeavor. 
ProgressHelpWhat has and hasn’t been accomplished so far?
In our ten years of existence as an organization, Seedleaf has made a good start. We have learned a lot about how to offer quality programming in kitchens and gardens through area after-school programs. We have learned how to partner with local churches and businesses to offer gardening events. We have had great feedback on this and look forward to doing more of it. We prioritize programming involving youth in Fayette County's food deserts (areas that lack access to healthy, nutritious food) because children tend to be early adopters of change. By demonstrating what fun it is to harvest together, and by sampling food that is fresh and flavorful, we are helping our participants learn to want such healthy food. 
The next step after cultivating the desire for such fresh food is to create opportunities for people grow and harvest their own vegetables. We plan to address this desire by improving 7 lots that Seedleaf has been given by the city of Lexington in food-insecure areas. These lots have a free u-pick space where neighbors can harvest fresh vegetables for themselves. 
Board Chair
Board Chair Sara Talbot
Company Affiliation University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension
Term June 2016 to June 2018
Board Members
William Anderson Bullhorn CreativeVoting
Ross Boggess Community VolunteerVoting
Jill Haas Solid Roots YogaVoting
Dennis Heskel RetiredVoting
Mr Kyle Melloan Dinsmore & Shohl LLP
Mr Kyle Melloan Dinsmore & Shohl LLP
Ron Mills RetiredVoting
Esther Moberly Central Kentucky FiberVoting
Ms Sara Talbot University of Kentucky ExtensionVoting
Joseph Will A Cup of CommonwealthVoting
Mrs. Ella Wilson Community VolunteerVoting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander 1
Caucasian 6
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 6
Female 4
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 79%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
CEO/Executive Director
Executive Director Ryan Koch
Term Start Nov 2007
Experience With training in mental health, and a background in experiential education, I have found gardening in community to be a happy marriage of a number of my passions. My conversion to gardening was inspired in part by David Wagoner and an apprenticeship at Three Spring Farm. I see now how gardening can promote a community's health by sharing meaningful work and nutritious, local food.
Term Start Nov 2007
Full Time Staff 1
Part Time Staff 0
Volunteers 950
Contractors 4
Retention Rate 100%
Management Reports to Board? Yes
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 1
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 1
Female 0
Unspecified 0
Description Service Education and Entrepreneurship in Downtown Spaces--we offer this unique job-training program to area youth between the ages of 11 and 14. Participants work with us each week in June and July and are able to earn a stipend of $200. They learn how to grow, cook, and sell/market fresh vegetables in their neighborhoods. They also visit area restaurants (Windy Corner) and other food-related initiatives (Lexington Farmers Market). SEEDS graduates become local food advocates, ambassadors for the local food movement.
Budget 6000
Category Education, General/Other Elementary & Secondary Education
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years), At-Risk Populations,
Program Long term Success Long-term success of the SEEDS program would include one or more of the following indicators:
  • Area youth make positive connections with area leaders in culinary arts and in agriclutire.
  • Area youth make positive changes in their own eating habits.
  • Area youth come to see the value of working hard and growing one' s own food.
Examples of Program Success In 2013 we observed that several SEEDS graduates went on to attain part time work at Smithtown Seafood, a restaurant operated by Ouita Michels. Chef Ouita has been a supporter and instructor for our SEEDS program, and we are glad for a chance to help our students make this important connection!
Description Seedleaf maintains 15 community gardens on the north side of Lexington. These are free u-pick spaces, meaning that neighbors and volunteers can help themselves to the free produce that they recognize.
Budget 4800 per garden
Category Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, General/Other Food
Population Served Families, At-Risk Populations, Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Program Short Term Success
  • In 2016, 300 pounds of fresh produce will be harvested by residents of food deserts in North Lexington.
Program Long term Success We hope to see an improved quality of life for our neighbors by reconnecting to healthier and more sustainable foodways. Desired outcomes of our work include a decreased risk of diet-related health problems such as obesity and diabetes for our neighbors living in food deserts on the North Side of Lexington. Through hands-on educational garden programming, we hope to provide community members with the knowledge and skills necessary to grow food in their neighborhood, whether at a Seedleaf garden location, or in their own backyard.
Description Seedleaf picks up organic vegetable waste from 23 area kitchens and restaurants and composts this material at 8 of our community gardens. In partnership with the Division of Waste Management, and a team of volunteers, we are able to generate over 5000 gallons of finished compost each year. 
Budget 24000
Category Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, General/Other Sustainable Agriculture
Population Served , ,
Program Short Term Success The Compost Partners program is giving a group of volunteers a meaningful service opportunity each week throughout the year. 
Program Long term Success Our Compost Partners program is diverting an important component of our county's waste stream away from the landfill and back into a system whereby we can make our city not just a center of consumption, but also a center of production. 
Program Comments
CEO Comments Capacity is our biggest challenge. We at Seedleaf pride ourselves on doing a lot with a little, and on doing thoughtful, caring work in an efficient way. But with a small staff, we have to be careful about which good projects we take on. Our board and director are working together to map out a strategic plan that will help us prepare for further success, and to take advantage of more of the unique opportunities being offered.
Plans & Policies
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Under Development
Management Succession Plan? Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures No
Nondiscrimination Policy Under Development
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy No
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the Government? No
Revenue vs Expenses - All Years
Expense Breakdown - Recent Year
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2017
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2017
Projected Revenue $110,000.00
Projected Expenses $99,000.00
Spending Policy Income Only
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available). Revenue from foundations and corporations may be included in individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Individual Contributions$70,106$76,354$88,725
Investment Income, Net of Losses--$14--
Membership Dues------
Special Events------
Revenue In-Kind------
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$57,406$77,107$71,705
Administration Expense$39,526$39,912$36,963
Fundraising Expense$928$3,200$14,705
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.140.931.09
Program Expense/Total Expenses59%59%59%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue1%4%17%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$39,106$25,854$35,424
Current Assets$32,187$20,759--
Long-Term Liabilities$12,525----
Current Liabilities--$12,598$12,518
Total Net Assets$26,581$13,356$22,906
Form 990s
2015 Form 990
2014 2014 Final 990, Seedleaf
2013 990EZ 2013
2012 990EZ 2012
2011 990EZ
2010 990EZ
2009 990
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
State Registration Yes
Foundation Staff Comments
Address 501 W Sixth St #250
% Ryan Koch
Lexington, KY 40508
Primary Phone 859 967-8865
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director Ryan Koch
Board Chair Sara Talbot
Board Chair Company Affiliation University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension