Sunday, April 15, 2012

Community Gardens

Yesterday, Jasmine and I helped out at the Rock River Valley Food Pantry. Normally she and I work there on Fridays distributing food, but yesterday (Saturday) we were helping the local Master Gardeners ready and plant some garden beds. The local extension office is helping the food pantry put together vegetable beds. Families who use the pantry will be able to pick their own vegetables from the beds.

Jasi and I came and were put to work lining the beds with card board, edging them with plastic and then filling the beds with compost and soil using a wheelbarrow. Other volunteers used pickaxes to level the other beds. The ground was crabgrass over hardpacked gravel, and I didn't envy them trying to make headway in that stuff.

We hadn't gotten too far when a local businessman showed up with an endloader.
Barbara, one of the Master Gardeners, had met him yesterday and told him about the project. He then decided to help out, bringing his equipment! That was an amazing help!

By 2 pm, 6 raised beds were completely lined and full, and planted. They planted lettuce, spinach, peas and a salad mix. Other crops will be replacing these as they are picked.

The students at Rockford College are starting some warmer weather plants for them to rotate in, like tomatoes, tomatillos and peppers.

Next Saturday there will be more beds to level and fill, and then walkways to cover with mulch.
I really enjoyed working toward getting freshly picked vegetables in the hands of the clients at the pantry. There is such a disconnect with so many city people as to where food comes from. I think the children will especially benefit.

Jasi and I are looking foreword to next week, working with and asking questions of the Master Gardeners.

1 comment:

The Cauldron Keeper said...

A couple of years ago, the apartment complex I lived at started a community garden. It was a wonderful experience and it has captured my imagination. I would love to see community gardens and urban harvest programs expand. Thanks for sharing your experience.