Outreach plans spring initiatives to promote healthy eating through community gardens

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Spring is here and it’s time to plant the garden at Outreach!

In order to increase the quantity of fresh, healthy vegetables that we distribute to our clients, Outreach is developing a micro-farm on its land. On April 8, from 1-3 p.m., we will plant the raised beds outside our building. These beds will serve as demonstration gardens and will provide produce for education classes.

On Saturday, May 21, we will hold a “perma-blitz” from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. This perma-blitz is a coordinated community event, encompassing multiple locations. On that day, several gardens will be planted in Polk County, including at Ashley Meadows and the Department of Social Services. The perma-blitz day of planting is a wonderful opportunity for families to volunteer together for a worthy cause.

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As part of an initiative to strengthen community connections, improve access to fresh, healthy food for families, build a sustainable economy, and create strong, rural livelihoods, Outreach has partnered with the Mill Spring Agricultural Center, Groundswell International, and Living Systems Design to implement and promote the “Grow Food Where People Live” project.

Outreach has been designated as a Community Micro-Farm, by Groundswell International to help teach and empower people to grow food through education and access to resources. The program includes gardening instruction, cooking and preservation classes, a demonstration garden, and vouchers to help clients purchase gardening supplies. Outreach’s Community Micro-Farm has been funded by grants and private donations through the Polk County Community Foundation.

If you would like to learn more about our mission and programs, please visit us online at tboutreach.org or at our 25th anniversary open house on our new date of Tuesday, June 28 from 2-5 p.m. To sign up to participate in the the perma-blitz, please visit https://secure.qgiv.com/for/gfwpl/event/769220/.

– Submitted by George Alley