Sharing a garden, its produce
By Carolyn Lee
The Imperial Republican
USDA employees in Imperial have again planted two box gardens as part of the People’s Garden Initiative, a nation-wide effort to create gardens through collaborative efforts.
The gardens are located in front of the USDA building on East 5th Street. They’re brimming with tomato, jalapeno and sweet pepper, cucumber, spaghetti squash, sweet potato and kohlrabi plants.
This is the second year for the project. It’s a joint one, in that Holiday Farms and Northside Greenhouse supplied the plants, the Upper Republican NRD provided the weed barrier, True Value donated the topsoil and Brophy Electric provided the space and the water.
When the produce is ready for harvesting, it will be donated to the Chase County Food Pantry, as it was last year.
Since 2009, the program has seen 2,116 gardens planted by 1,300 organizations. A total of 222,116 volunteer hours have produced 3.9 million pounds of produce for donation.
In 2014, the Imperial USDA gardens produced 25.43 pounds of vegetables for the pantry.
The People’s Gardens must benefit the community, must be collaborative and must incorporate sustainable practices.
In Grant, the USDA Service Center is offering classes on landscaping and gardening, as well as healthy recipes from the garden.
Sarah Walker and Sarah Winslow of the Imperial Natural Resources Conservation Service said they would be happy to provide classes or programs for the public. They may be reached at 308-882-4263 Ext. 3.