Our Kitchen Table’s food garden coach, Belinda Henderson, oversaw our project with Exodus Place garden. She has again done us proud!
Participants of Our Kitchen Table’s Program for Growth are already harvesting some fresh, organic produce from their gardens and looking forward to an abundant summer season. Ms. Doris shares, “I have collards, turnips, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers and sweet herb [stevia]. I’m just loving it!”
Photo courtesy Miss Doris and Stephen Smith.
Growing: Community Justice and Food
6-9 p.m. Monday June 18
Baxter Community Center, 935 Baxter St. SE 49506
OKT’s executive director, Lisa Oliver-King will talk about growing food–and growing justice–in Grand Rapids’ southeast neighborhoods. The workshop seeks to share how to strengthen relationships and quality of life in these neighborhoods, practice food justice and engage neighbors via a community garden with financial support from the City of Grand Rapids Neighborhood Match Fund (NMF) www.grandrapidsmi.gov/nmf.
The main goals of the NMF are to build stronger connections among residents in neighborhoods, and to address and promote social justice. All projects, including community gardens, must intentionally advance these goals. So if you’re a GR resident interested in starting a community garden to grow community, justice and food – attend this workshop for important tips and strategies.
Free and open to all!
Are you interested in planting your own urban food garden and don’t know where to start? During this free workshop, you will learn food garden basics with farmer and OKT food garden coach, Leslie Huffman.
Next Monday, June 19, OKT will share how to compost. On June 26, we will talk about how to save seeds from this year’s food garden for the next planting season. These classes take place at the Garfield Parl Lodge from 6 to 8 p.m., as well.
Check out OKT’s free spring gardening classes!
Our Kitchen Table is offering its “How to Plan Your Food Garden” tonight. Facilitated by OKT garden coach, Mary Colburn, the class shares tips on soil, planting and caring for food plants, with special emphasis on achieving success in an urban setting. A requirement for OKT residential garden program participants, the free class is open to the public.
Call 616-206-3641 or email OKTable1@gmail.com. We will provide:
- Site visit and garden blueprint. Visits will take place between now and April 15.
- Plants and seeds to begin your garden.
- Raised beds and soil.
- A food garden coach to assist with designing and planting the garden.
- Garden toolkit
OKT asks our food gardeners to:
- Attend a food grower orientation in April.
- Attend three April & May educational workshops.
- Attend at least one additional OKT event each month, if possible.
OKT primarily works with households with children in eighth grade or younger who are challenged with access to food. Our geographic areas include Baxter, Eastown, Garfield Park and Southtown (SECA) neighborhoods. If you do not live in these area, we will attempt to help within our capacity.
Are you interested in planting your own food garden and don’t know where to start? Do you have a food garden and want to find ways to make it more productive? OKT is currently signing up qualified residents of Baxter, SECA/Southtown, Eastown and Garfield Park neighborhoods to participate in this year’s food growing program.
These food gardeners will be able to access garden resources such as organic starter food plants, chemical free compost, soil testing and garden coaching. Starter food plants will be distributed twice to participating gardeners—the beginning of June, when the gardens are first planted, and again in July, when cold crops can be planted.
Ms. Weathersby will again lead OKT’s Garden Posse, coaching southeast Grand Rapids gardeners participating in OKT’s food gardening program. Last year, for the most part, our gardeners rented their homes; food plants were grown in containers.
The women of OKT are hoping even more Southeast area neighbors will join us in growing and sharing even more fresh, healthy food. For information, visit www.OKTjustice.org or call 616-570-0218.