- Residents will learn a valuable skill that they can take with them as they move on from the Salvation Army.
- Any surplus food produced in the Salvation Farmy will travel about 30 yards to the Salvation Army food bank, which will then distribute the food to those who really, really need it.
- Cooking classes (open to the public... anyone can come!) will be taught at the Salvation Army so that the new gardeners can learn to cook healthy and nutritious meals from their garden produce.
- The food produced in a community garden is often a mere sideshow when compared with the sense of camaraderie and feelings of community that are part-and-parcel of having strangers coming together to work toward a common goal. For whatever reason, people seem to feel really comfortable talking with each other when their hands are covered with the same dirt.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Beyond just producing healthy, tasty, uber-local food for the Salvation Army transitional housing residents, consider that the project will also encompass the following:
Friday, January 8, 2010
Thursday, January 7, 2010
How a garden came to be:
In the fall of 2009, a group of six Leadership Spokane class members (Michelle Baldwin, Mike Burns, Cindy Dandoy, Mariah McKay, Debra Romaneschi and myself, Mark Pond), were given the task of illuminating Spokane's unmet human needs. We narrowed our scope to hunger and poor nutrition, with an eye cast toward local food production as a tool for addressing the problem.
Beyond presenting to our classmates, we wanted to put together a project that would have a lasting impact in our community. We decided to build a community garden. Through a stroke of good fortune, Captain Kyle Smith, of the Spokane Salvation Army, offered up a piece of ground on the Salvation Army campus that is just off Ruby St. at Indiana Ave.
From that point, the pieces have been falling together. We envision that residents living in the temporary housing at the Salvation Army will form the backbone of the gardening crew. Families can be housed at the Salvation Army for up to two years. The plan is to have the outgoing residents teach and guide the newly arrived residents in the finer points of growing good food. To aid in that, the Spokane Master Gardeners (thanks, Pat Munts!) have volunteered to provide a guiding hand for the garden. There is a food bank on site at the Salvation Army that is willing to help distribute any surplus food to those who most need it. We have been offered free bedding plants for the garden from Fresh Abundance (thanks, BrightSpirit!). Alex Mann of AHBL Landscape Architects has offered his planning prowess. Dan Spalding, owner of Zola, has offered to craft an artistic and whimsical fence for the garden. Brian Estes, of St. Margaret's Shelter Garden, has offered his gardening expertise. And the list continues to grow.
We are well on our way. Our plan is to have the garden up and producing food for the 2010 growing season. To do that, we need to raise approximately $5,000 for supplies and construction materials. As a fundraiser, we are selling our newly minted Leadership Spokane cookbooks. Compiled of the favorite recipes of Leadership Spokane alumni, staff and the 2009 - 2010 class, the cookbooks are selling for $10 each. Tack on $2 if you would like to have your copy mailed to you. Email Meredith at email@example.com for details.
Oooh... one last shout-out. The cost of printing the cookbooks was underwritten by Northern Quest Casino. That means that the full $10 purchase price will be going to purchasing shovels, soaker hoses, seeds, wheelbarrows and all those other things that make a garden a garden. Many thanks, Northern Quest!
Stay tuned for updates.