OKT and United Methodist Community House food gardening program experienced successes and challenges

UMCH-Logo_with-tagFrom June to September 2017, Our Kitchen Table worked with the United Methodist Community House to plant raised bed food gardens and engage folks of all ages in healthy eating strategies. Program participants included children from the UMCH Child Development Center and summer camp programs as well as adults from its Transitional Living and Seniors program.

OKT designed and built 22 raised beds, filled them with soil and provided organic food plants—fruits, vegetables, herbs and edible flowers. An OKT food garden coach facilitated the programming. The various UMCH programs met at the raised beds to learn about food growing and accessing healthier foods in neighborhood. Many of the adult participants also attended OKT’s food growing series and food justice class—and became patrons of the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market.

The raised beds did resent some challenges. The harvest did not yield the expected amount of food, although enough was picked to use for the food demos and classes held at the garden site. OKT is taking steps to figure out why low amounts of food were produced and amend the situation–and the soil, if needed. In its many years of growing food, OKT has not encountered such low yields before.

Thank you, United Methodist Community House, for this great opportunity to grow justice!