Food Pantry Garden Prospers, Despite Weather Hardships
MANKATO, Minn.-- Minnesota does not have the most ideal growing season for produce, and this spring has not been an exception for the Blue Earth Community Farm. However, they are nearing completion, as they continue to move at a fast pace.
Farm Manager Anna Good said the food pantry garden at the Red Jacket Valley Park has a big job, growing large amounts of vegetables, herbs and fruits.
It is Good's first season at the garden and she said there have been many hardships.
"We had a really long winter, and essentially no spring, and starting fresh in a new location has given us a few challenges," said Good.
" And the weather hasn't been cooperating, but we're getting there."
All the items grown at the garden go into hunger assistance programs in Blue Earth County, so there is a high demand for the produce.
The planting process began the first week in June, a month later than expected.
Good said they are now 95 percent completed, a status they owe to their many volunteers.
Lifeworks Mankato Service Facilitator Molly Baker said she and some of her clients come out every Wednesday to help.
" We like to get out into the community and just help out, get out the center, so we're not just sitting in the center," said Baker.
" And just learn different skills, accountability, giving back to the community."
Their most veteran volunteer just so happens to be Trinity Carlson, a high school student who utilizes her green thumb towards National Honor Society Service hours.
Carlson said her hands stay in the dirt.
"Every single day, like right now dirty hands," said Carlson.
"But otherwise I love planting all the different types of vegetables and greens."
There is also a learning opportunity here
" We have a backyard demo area set up to show people how you can grow a lot of food in a little bit of space, " said Good.
" And anyone who wants to learn how to grow food, this is a great way to come and get some experience, and see how the plants grow."
Good said there is always a need for food, and with a very small budget, people can also help by making cash donations.
The end goal is 5,000 pounds of food for those in need.
--KEYC News 12