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article for community garden list serve

  • Subject: [cg] article for community garden list serve
  • From: "Christine Kirby" ckirby@regionalfoodbank.org
  • Date: Sat, 19 Feb 2005 18:43:02 -0600

We would like to submit the following article to the ACGA list serve.
Thanks!
 
Community Gardening is Thriving in Oklahoma City
 
Thanks to the initial support from the Oklahoma City Community
Foundation and the continuing support and home from the Regional Food
Bank of Oklahoma, community gardening is thriving in Oklahoma City.
Urban Harvest is an urban agriculture program with the mission of
providing better access to fresh fruits and vegetables to people
especially in low income areas.   
 
The three main focus areas in the program are the 3 1/2 acres of ground
that surrounds the Regional Food Bank that is used for organically grown
fresh fruit and vegetable production, teaching and demonstration; assist
with 19 community gardens providing advice, equipment, seeds,
transplants, partnership building, education and hands-on learning; and
crop gleaning with small to large Oklahoma growers, farmers market and
backyard gardeners.  The program has been expanding rapidly in the past
two years and hopes to serve the 53 counties in Oklahoma in the future
which is the service area for the food bank.  
 
We have just recently harvested 45 lbs of radishes and turnip greens in
our hoop house (unheated) that we built this past fall that we held as a
two day workshop with the expert help of Steve Upson of the Noble
Foundation.   The quality and flavor is fabulous!  The lettuce and
turnips should be ready to harvest beginning in a week or so and we will
be planting tomatoes and peppers on March 15 in the hoop house which is
30 days before our last average frost free date.  All crops that are
grown at the food bank are harvested and then distributed to on-site
feeding programs, shelters, emergency food pantries, children and senior
programs.  We have working models of composting, vermicomposting, cover
crops, season extension, drip irrigation, organic vegetable production,
vegetable transplant production and much more.  This season we will
begin seed distribution to 140 different agencies so they can either
grow vegetables at their agency to feed the poor or to distribute
directly to their clients.
 
The 19 community gardens plus 3 new gardens that we work with are
phenomenal!  There are so many stories to tell about each garden and the
incredible impact that they make to their community.  In the coming
months, I will share some of those stories.  
 
In our crop gleaning program, we have many links and continue to make
new links with local growers, farmer markets and home gardeners, FFA &
4-H students for donations and gathering that help to feed the hungry in
Oklahoma.  It is a combination of Plant A Row for the Hungry and a crop
gleaning program.  
 
If you are ever in Oklahoma City, please give us a call and we would
love to show you what we are doing.  We really like to meet people doing
similar things as we do because we learn so much from you.  We have a
really great team with Urban Harvest and they are Bruce Edwards, alias
Farmer Bruce, the gardening coordinator; Jerry Newhouse, VISTA community
gardening liaison; Casey McKinney, VISTA Urban Harvest Marketing and
Development and I am Chris Kirby, Director of Urban Harvest.   Have a
great gardening season!!  You can contact us at 405-972-1111 ext 108 or
email ckirby@regionalfoodbank.org.


______________________________________________________
The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org


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