Community helped community garden keep GROW-ing
In one way or another 2020 has been a challenging year for most of us. GROW!, your community garden organization, was also challenged this year. But we were able to step up and supply much needed fresh organic produce to Boundary County food banks. In all, GROW supplied about 2,000 pounds of produce to help these organizations meet the needs of the community. BUT, it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of Boundary County citizens and businesses. For that, GROW members are immensely grateful and want to thank you for your support.
In a normal year GROW generates financial support through a Spring raffle and a Summer/Fall “Farm to Table” dinner attended by over 100 people. Obviously, this was not feasible this year. Instead we relied on donations and fund raising through “Idaho Gives” in May and “Giving Tuesday” this past December. The community responded and as a result we have adequate funding going into next year. Again, thank you to the community.
But that’s not the only way Bonners Ferry and Boundary County have supported us. 38 businesses and organizations participated in our “Little Free Gardens” program. These small container gardens are scattered throughout the city and county and serve to show how easy it is to raise a few tasty veggies. Hopefully, you saw one of these gardens and even helped yourself to some tomatoes, a pepper, or even picked a flower. Huge thanks go out to the businesses and organizations that hosted and helped maintain these container gardens. In addition, thanks are due to the City of Bonners Ferry, which, through their High Five Program funded by Blue Cross of Idaho, provided two $2500 grants over two years to help defer expenses.
The bulk of the ton of donated produce came from our community garden on Buchanan St., where members of the community can rent garden plots or easily accessible tall raised beds. For over 10 years Trinity Lutheran has made this land available for the garden and we are grateful for this long-standing relationship. Many of the plots are tended by volunteers and Josh Nichols, our garden manager. In 2020, almost 500 hours of labor was provided by University of Idaho Extension’s Master Gardeners and we acknowledge their efforts in both the Little Free Garden Program and the Community Garden itself. Without their hard work and dedication what we accomplish could not happen. Thanks to Josh and all of you.
So again, a big thank you to the citizens, businesses, and organizations in Bonners Ferry and Boundary County. You have made this possible. Additional information on GROW and the Little Free Gardens can be found at our website, www.growboundarycounty.org or our facebook page, www.facebook.com/GrowBoundaryCounty.
GERRY ANN HOWLETT
Board of Directors
Gardeners for Regional Organic Well-being! (GROW!)