Increased Self Sufficiency in Rural Maine
CrossWalk is a five town kitchen/food pantry meeting twice a month to provide healthy food for 270 families. Vegetables and fruit are a high priority, which lead us to create community gardens over the past two years. The major goal here, and for the pantry, is to *enable pantry members to provide healthy food for themselves. Year 1: the pantry started the gardens with grant funds (wood, compost, seedlings, tools, shed, etc.). Year 2: raised beds were made available to food pantry folks interested in gardening. Grant funds paid for more tools, a gardening expert to provide lessons, and limited materials for the participants to begin a garden at home. We met every other week for lessons and weeding. Output from the gardens was roughly 400+ pounds
For this funding opportunity, we are emphasizing a different gardening technique to help clients create improved soil for their homes, plus raising chickens (further sustain their own food needs). Caleb Humphreys of Naples has approached us with ideas and methodologies for the 2014 season. His home will provide numerous field trips. At our gardens, we have already added one extra-high raised bed filled with our compost pile and some weathered compost. (This years model for gardening).
Last years gardeners (14 families) are filled with enthusiasm and will bring others to our efforts this coming spring. Planting will be collectively with folks assigned to caring for one type of vegetables. Trainings will include
• Soil enrichment: weed control, composting, bugs, companion planting, maintaining raised bed with added plant material/compost.
• How to raise chickens in Maine, cheaply.
• Creating raised beds from rescued wood
Purchase of books to be kept at the local library where we also plan to run evening programs promoting these methodologies. (Partnership with Library to promote library use.)
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