by Ray Bowman
(From the July 19 edition of The Farmer’s Pride)
A project being sponsored by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture will likely end up growing more than fruit and vegetables.
Commissioner James Comer joined Louisville mayor Greg Fischer and other supporters July 2nd to break ground for the new Urban Garden at the Parkland Boys and Girls Club in Louisville.
“We’re so proud of all the hard work that has gone into this project,” Comer said. “This is amazing, and you’re doing something that is going to make a difference for this community and for many people for many years to come.”
Students who participate in the project will be getting hands-on training in real world skills by planning, growing and marketing the produce from the garden. Along the way, they’ll be learning about food preparation and proper nutrition.
Field trips to farmers’ markets and local producers will support classroom and garden experience.
City councilwoman Attica Scott had praise for the project as well as the Parkland Community Garden, just down the street from the Boys and Girls Club. “People come there not only to grow fresh fruits and herbs and vegetables, but to build community and to build relationships.”
Last summer, the Franklin-Simpson Boys and Girls Club piloted a similar project, which Parkland CEO Jennifer Helgeson credited for laying the foundation for the Louisville garden. Four additional “Seed to Sale” projects are anticipated at Boys and Girls Clubs across the state.
In early May, rifles and knives that had been evidence in the corruption trial of former agriculture commissioner Richie Farmer were sold at auction. The money collected from that sale was dedicated by Comer to help fund the urban garden project. Additionally, financial and technical assistance will be provided by Anthem (Blue Cross and Blue Shield) Foundation, University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension, Caudill Seed, The Green Building and Louisville Grows.