At Harvesters food bank's demonstration garden we saw how volunteers had planted a wide variety of plants to show food bank visitors alternatives for growing their own food.
The tour of Juniper Gardens started at the place where makeshift sheds and offices were set up on a recovered housing development land. The land was situated on the bluff over the Kansas River. If you look east from the community garden you can see the profile of downtown Kansas City. There were several large garden plots that were planted by refugee women with support from the New Roots for Refugees, a program funded by Catholic Charities and KC Center for Urban Agriculture Center. We walked around one of the large plots farmed by a refugee woman. The refugees get the space at Juniper Gardens which was only established last year. We met Rachel Bonar with the New Roots for Refugees program. She gave us a quick tour of how the field was turned over from an empty lot into a functional gardening space for many area residents and refugees.
Nichelle (spelling?) gave a tour of her small garden plot. She is a local resident and has access to the resources of the community garden – tools, water, among other resources. There was a group from the Salt of the Earth youth farming project. Angela Greene is the director of the program. They also have a garden at 13th & Georgia in Kansas City, Kansas, which supplies produce for the farmers' markets where they sell.
The Huns Family Garden was owned by Pov Huns, who gave tours of his four-acre farm. Pov described his unique method of planting onions and peppers among Johnson grass, all without fertilizer and irrigation. Dr. K.B. Paul with Innovative Small Farmers Outreach Program at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri participated in the same tour. His small group from Lincoln University was very interested in hearing about his methods. The Huns family sells produce at the City Market in Kansas City, Missouri every Saturday. They also supply fifteen CSA members with 8-10 pounds of food per week with 10 different food items in each pack. The Huns Family Garden also had two tunnels used for growing tomatoes. Huns produces a variety of vegetables and cut flowers, including tulips. Drip irrigation is used in the tunnel.
Can't wait until next year to learn about more community organizations focused on growing food locally!