With support of gardener extraordinaire Ellen Persa, the Rotaract 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 materials valued at $7,500.
CaseyWood of Grass Valley donated redwood for 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 raised beds.
The Healthy Harvest Project was kicked off by Food Bank Executive Director Toni Thompson in April 2011.
It was estimated the garden would supply enough fresh produce to meet at least 33 percent of the needs of Food Bank clients by the end of the 2011 growing season, and 75 percent of their needs by the end of 2012.
The organic vegetable garden was developed on land donated by John and Becky Olson, owners of Gold and Green Equipment Rentals on Railroad Avenue, and is across the street from the Food Bank facility.
Food Bank clients are 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.
The new Garden Coordinator, Sean Sullivan, is hard at work bringing the garden back to life. Soon the garden will harvest fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables for those in need, and more. Sean is planning special events, classes, and much more. The garden is in need of some items to fulfill his plans.