LaSalle Garden Plot

  • Location
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • Status
  • Age Level
    Any Age

The Problem

We are wanting to educate students about gardening while addressing the issue of food insecurity that many of the families have that attend this school.

Our Plan

We are planning on planting a garden plot and instructing students in the planting, caring and harvesting of the garden. The food will be given to the families in the school that are faced with food insecurity along with recipes to how to best prepare the food for their families.

Themes Addressed

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    Community Enhancement
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The Benefit

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Here is how the project went:

The goal of the LaSalle project was to provide fresh produce to a severely food insecure student body and their families. A secondary goal was to teach them how to garden so if they have the resources in the future they will have the knowledge to be able to grow fresh produce for themselves. The students chose a garden site in May and then planted the garden. The weather was very dry and the plot needed to be watered often. There was some nongermination due to the dry weather and lack of water at first. Enough hose was finally obtained to be able to maintain water to the garden. A couple of greenhouses were generous in late June and early July to sell us very reduced vegetables that we were able to place in the garden in places that we had already harvested from or were bare because of the dry weather. The funds received from the grant were used to purchase seed, plants, and fencing supplies to keep the rabbits out of our garden. The produce that was picked was given to the families of the LaSalle Catholic School. The lettuce and radishes were first distributed to the families when they picked their children up from childcare and then at an event called Popsicles in the Parking lot. Beginning in August the produce that was being harvested was set out for families to pick up once or twice a week. It was posted on the school website what was available and when it would be available for pick-up. Students helped to weed and care for the garden learning how to place tomato cages around the tomatoes and how to keep our vine plants within the garden fence. We were able to provide families with the following produce: lettuce, radishes, cucumbers, zucchini, green peppers, jalapeno peppers, spinach, yellow and red tomatoes, green and yellow beans, egg plant, cabbage, broccoli, beets, and carrots. Not all of the beets and carrots were taken immediately so I canned them and families have been picking up the canned vegetables when they need them.

Through this project I/we learned:

This project showed others how insecure the families of this school really are. Racing to obtain the produce when it was ready and then posting online and written thank you's let us know that this garden was serving a population in need.

What I/we might change:

When we do this next year we will be growing the size of the garden to be able to be able to provide for more families.

My/our favorite part of this project was:

A favorite part of the project was working together to provide families with fresh produce.

Some tips, tricks or fun facts about the project:

We celebrated our successes often with having fun together in the garden and then having a family bonfire at the end of the growing season.

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