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County plants a huge garden on vacant land

(article, Culinate staff)

Earlier this week, custom-garden-builder Caroline Lewis [/mix/dinnerguest/penelopesgarden blogged] about planting a garden in the back yard of a family home in Portland, Oregon, and about how all the produce harvested in that garden would go to feed hungry people in the community.

Now there's more good news for Portland's hungry. The Oregonian reports that a garden is being planted on two acres of fertile but unused county land:

bq.That produce will go to the Oregon Food Bank and will feed what food-resource manager Mike Moran calls a desperate need.

bq. The demand for emergency food has increased 15.5 percent in Oregon — locally, that translates to about 22,000 more food boxes given out from July of last year through March. But just 16 percent of the food that the food bank distributes statewide is fresh produce.

bq. "To be able to provide people with fresh fruits and vegetables is a great value to them," Moran says.

The county commissioner who spearheaded the effort predicts the farm will provide about 500 needy residents with weekly allotments of peas, carrots, broccoli, and squash.

Local businesses have supplied money for many of the garden's $22,000 start-up costs, and Hands On Portland provides much of the labor.