SVDP Watkins St. Garden
We are building vegetable gardens at the main St. Vincent De Paul (SVDP) center on Watkins Street in Phoenix, AZ. The center has a large vacant lot which we are turning into a food production area. We built another garden during the summer and fall of 2013 at another SVDP location, which is successfully operating. Our goal is to provide for the dining facilities of SVDP, adding a healthier component to their meals. Our primary focus this spring is to grow salad greens, including lettuce, spinach, kale, chard, and others. The location we are working at is the central kitchen for the organization, and our produce is sent to the other SVDP dining locations in the Phoenix area. We already are producing kale, chard, and beets at the Watkins St. location. Last Wednesday we harvested 55 pounds of chard which the kitchen added to the salad mixes they are producing. We have worked with the kitchen staff to determine their needs and preferences, so we can grow accordingly.
Another goal of our garden is to also take produce out into the community, selling at a fair price. We have started a small produce stand on Sunday mornings in conjunction with a local church. Our aim is to provide fresh, healthy, and natural vegetables and greens at prices that meet, or are better than the local markets. Many of our customers are low income, and some have limited access to affordable and healthy foods. The money we make on selling produce allows us to buy items that we do no grow from a local organic farmer. We also work with clients of SVDP to provide training, support, and a place of safety in our garden as they work with us.
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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