The Mt. Angel Community Garden, right outside the doors of Mission Benedict and Saint Joseph Family Shelter, is reducing food insecurity, increasing the availability of fresh, healthy food, and strengthening community relationships. “The garden is giving Mt. Angel community members from a variety of backgrounds the opportunity to work toward a common goal,” says Mission Benedict Program Coordinator Laura Scarbro.
Having just started to take shape this spring, the garden has already received community support in the form of financial and in-kind donations from a number of partners including the Knights of Columbus Mt. Angel Council #1767, Columbia Bank, Marion-Polk Food Share, Kramer’s Nurseries, Portland Nursery, Abiqua Landscaping, Eder Farms and Habitat for Humanity. Tokyo International University of America students even helped till the land and plant the first vegetables.
This month, Mission Benedict received a grant from Northwest Farm Credit Services to extend the community garden’s growing season with the addition of a hot house, and space for shared tools. A new, two-door commercial refrigerator will keep produce fresher for community distribution. “Our sincerest thanks to Northwest Farm Credit Services,” said Laura. “The funds awarded will enable our little garden to grow. Community partners are the roots that allow us to grow strong branches to hold our community up.”