NETwork Community Garden
NETwork Ministries' community garden was started over a decade ago. Our organization is committed to serving vulnerable children and teens in our neighborhood, and the garden is a wonderful way to connect with kids, especially during the summer months.
Last year, 40 children and teens were directly involved with the project. We meet four times a week: three times to work in the garden, and once to sell what we've grown at our local farmers market. In the garden, youth learn practical lessons about plant care, how to grow and harvest produce, and to work hard and take responsibility as a team member. At the market, youth learn basic business and customer service skills, interacting with the public and working as entrepreneurs to sell some of the produce we grow.
Most of the youth who are part of the garden program are, in some way or another, at-risk. We have found building friendships with one another while gardening to be an incredibly positive opportunity for children and teens in our neighborhood. We also seek to provide opportunities for students to grow in leadership, including hiring older students to work as Junior Leaders. Furthermore, we have had many students learn to enjoy new vegetables because of their involvement with this project. This is encouraging, especially considering the challenges our community faces with poor nutrition and access to fresh produce. In addition, we take several off-campus trips to learn from other gardeners in our area.
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