Haven Garden is a thriving garden oasis in the middle of a food desert. We have taken a small plot of donated land and turned it into a vegetable factory, producing over A TON of chemical free vegetables in just two seasons.
Our first season's produce was been donated to The Julian Center, a shelter for families escaping domestic violence. The Julian Center houses 110 women and children, and feeds them three meals a day. We were happy to provide healthy options for their menus.
In our second season, we expanded our donations to include the Marion County Purdue Extension. Haven Garden provided vegetables for cooking demonstrations that are part of their Family Nutrition Program. These nutrition classes were conducted at community centers, libraries, farmers markets, apartment buildings and churches. The county budget for food demonstrations is limited. By donating vegetables, Haven Garden helped the program stretch its budget, and focus on seasonal items. Nutrition classes were even offered on site at Haven Garden.
Our garden vegetables were also shared with our community residents. Discussions around the garden frequently centered around different ways to prepare the harvest. The "flour or cornmeal" debate was a common topic, when green tomatoes were available for frying. And some folks like their greens mixed, while others prefer just chard, or just collards. Most like a splash of vinegar or a squeeze of lime on their cooked greens.
We plan to continue to donate all our produce. And we hope to grow a lot!
A new project for 2014 includes installing raised beds for our senior volunteers. We plan to build four 4' x 8' beds.
KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.
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Kitchen Gardeners International
3 Powderhorn Drive,
Scarborough, ME, 04074, USA