Our new space at the Capital Area Food Bank has light and air and is twice the size of the facility we moved out of during the summer of 2012.
It has a garden on an acre adjacent to our volunteer space that runs toward the Metro’s Red Line –providing those tired commuters trees and flowers to enjoy during the daily back and forth.
Our garden is a hands-on, learning laboratory for food-growing education, laid out in a series of pathways and raised beds, with a garden shed (yes, it has window boxes for flowers) and for lunch and contemplation.
We recently installed two beehives, too, which will be cared for by two volunteer beekeepers.
Raised beds are in place, the shed is going up and volunteers continue to pour in to help lay path stones and plant and till in the beds. We are anxiously awaiting our first pie (to be prepared in our new demonstration kitchen) from our dwarf apple.
Soon, invitations will go out to our partner agencies, participants in our children programs, families partaking in our Family Markets at schools around the region and many others who want to learn how our food is grown and maybe think about planting a few fresh vegetables themselves to lighten tight budgets or just for fun.
Taught by skilled volunteers and staff members with expertise in gardening and nutrition education, the food bank’s demonstration garden will reconnect interested low-income families, food bank supporters, volunteers and staff with a sense of self-sufficiency, a grow-your-own expertise.
We are especially looking forward to having children come enjoy the garden, learn how food grows, how to grow their own vegetables in small spaces, to irrigate with rainwater, how a healthy ecosystem is created and how to plant and harvest in all seasons.
The garden has already created a lot of smiles and we are looking forward to more as our garden grows!