The Healthy Harvest Project was kicked off by Food Bank Executive Director Toni Thompson in April 2011.
With support of gardener extraordinaire Ellen Persa, the Rotary Club of Nevada County, a group from Twin Cities Church, individual volunteers, and a lot of sweat equity, the garden was born.
In addition to an anonymous donation, several local, organic vegetable growers also committed starter plants for the first season. Several local businesses also donated many necessary materials.
Casey Wood of Grass Valley donated redwood hardwood lumber for the building of raised beds. Rare Earth donated soil and gravel. Peaceful Valley Farm Supply, B&C Ace Hardware, Hills Flat Lumber Co. and Empire Fence also donated materials including fertilizer, weed cloth, straw, mulch, gravel, drip watering components, tools, a storage shed and additional redwood for the raised beds.
Food Bank clients were encouraged to work in the garden and learn more about the nutritional value of and how to cook fresh vegetables.”
An arrangement early on, with Wendy Van Wagner of
In the Kitchen, was made to allow special, discounted cooking classes for our clients, focusing on the produce grown in the garden.
A team of knowledgeable volunteer gardeners regularly worked in the hot sun because they knew just how important the garden project was.