SALINA – Gardening is accessible to all with the opening in May of the Salina Emergency Aid Food Bank Community Garden. More than 1,000 pounds of garden-fresh produce were expected to be donated through the food bank this year.
The project provides five 24-foot, raised gardening beds accessible by concrete pathways, which are being utilized by six community gardeners, as well as clientele from the Salina Senior Center, Meals on Wheels and Saline County ARC. Also included are 12 children’s garden raised beds, 12 Master Gardener raised beds, 22 community garden raised beds, and additional upgrades to facilities. Irrigation equipment and a three-stage composting bin were installed, and a gazebo and benches were expected to be constructed this summer.
More than 25 children are being mentored and are gaining valuable outdoor learning by working in the garden. Teens and adults from several businesses and organizations such as 4-H have volunteered to paint, spread mulch, pull weeds, assemble tool kits and much more. A wonderful sense of community has already begun to form.
Vegetable trials planted with the oversight of Extension Master Gardeners will provide the first harvest of fresh vegetables to be donated to the food bank from this garden in 2021.