Trehab Food Bank Garden
The Trehab Food Bank Garden project began in 2012, when a USDA loan allowed the organization to purchase the building housing the South Montrose food pantry, and the adjoining land. The local Area Agency on Aging had received a grant allowing for construction of a greenhouse to provide food, but had no where to place it. Trehab's pantry director had been working for a few years on the "Juicy Tomato Project", giving tomato plants to pantry clients to take home and grow. With the purchase of the land, there was a place to erect the greenhouse and it became possible to expand these initiatives to make fresh fruits and vegetables available to pantry clients of all ages on a larger scale than the tomato project could provide. The site now boasts a total of 21 raised beds, with a focus toward high yield and high nutrition produce. Various businesses, area farmers, and community groups have assisted the garden with donations of seeds, seedlings, labor, produce, and expertise.
All pantry clients benefit from the garden, as the produce is made available during the growing season to take with their regular order. Between the two pantries, in recent months Trehab served an average of 475 rural households a month and an average of 1,171 individuals. This included an average 323 children and 293 senior citizens per month.
Trehab hopes to continue to expand and improve the garden project in the future. In 2014 the number of beds was increased, and the goal for 2015 is to increase productivity of these beds by addressing soil deficiencies. Trehab would also like to use the garden for community education purposes, perhaps partnering with other agencies.
Thus far this has been a very successful project, which it is hoped will only improve with time.
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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