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TEAM Veggie at Fountain Hills Community Garden has begun its fifth consecutive year of planting a fall garden for Extended Hands Food Bank.A group of 10 volunteers worked on amending the soil and putting in transplants of broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and tomatoes. Seeds were planted for greens, beets, peas, radishes and carrots.“We had to learn what people wanted most,” Garden Manager Joy Hubbard explained. “At first we tried to introduce a selection of forgotten greens like sorrel and dandelion. But we learned over time that people want produce they are familiar with and know how to cook or prepare.”
Garden Manager Rita Applegate leads the Food Bank Donation program for the Community Garden.“During the growing season, which in Fountain Hills is eight months of the year, we have a plentiful Food Bank harvest about every two weeks,” Applegate said. “It’s so rewarding to drop off fifteen to twenty bags of produce. Being able to grow a variety of fresh organic food for people in need is important to our volunteers and our mission.”
According to Garden Manager and Treasurer Mark Dalton, “The Community Garden donates a few hundred dollars a year to buy supplies and soil amendments for the Food Bank donation beds.”“We add amendments that contain the minerals and compost needed to grow healthy plants; plants that are full of the minerals and vitamins our bodies need,” said Hubbard.Applegate added, “It’s the time and energy of our volunteers that really make the program work.”To learn more about the Fountain Hills Community Garden and how to have a successful fall garden, visit fountainhillscommunitygarden.com or Facebook.
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