We finished converting the entire garden into raised beds, for a total of 230 raised beds as well as hooking up the new beds to the drip irrigation system. This in turn has increased our production of produce for the local food bank. Year-to-date (2018), we have donated 1,925 pounds to the local food bank, which is 105 percent more than we had contributed at the same point last year. Also, all of the raised beds (57) for community gardeners have been rented for the season, and we have a waiting list for 2019.
We were able to obtain a donation of 5,000 feet of rebar from a local foundry. With volunteer assistance we cut, bent and welded this into 100 tomato cages (see photo)
We now have 53 Personal Gardeners, 23 Volunteers, 8 Seed-to-Supper Participants, 15 Children, 6 Horticultural Therapy Participants and provided 11,276 meals to Folks at Nutritional Risk
What challenges did or does your project face?
A secure base of ongoing funding to operate the Garden. Nearly all of the infrastructure is now in place—raised beds, irrigation system, fencing, sheds and greenhouses. We are now faced with the challenge of operating the Garden year-in and year-out and keeping it in good repair.
How are you working to overcome them?
We are negotiating with local wineries to hold tasting events for our benefit. The Garden receives the wine tasting fee as well as the per glass fee. In addition, we approach local organisations, businesses and Yamhill County Master Gardeners Association for donations to assist us.
What did you or your project learn this season that might be useful to others as well?
Our goal was to raise $2,500.00; we realized $2,356.13 net. These funds were used to finish converting the Garden to raised beds, adding 122 beds for a total of 230. The lumber cost $1,920.17, which was more than we had anticipated; bark beetles are killing off Douglas Firs, driving up the cost of lumber. We have on order a small shed ($335.00) so that tools can be located convenient for the gardeners at the far end. The remainder was used for compost to fill the beds ($100.96).