A new partnership aims to send more fresh, local produce to Louisville’s Dare to Care Food Bank by utilizing some of the unused space in the city’s community gardens.
Jefferson County Extension runs 10 community gardens in Louisville, covering about 22 total acres. But on any given year, there are always some plots that are unassigned and lay fallow. This year, Extension Coordinator Wayne Long thought some of that space could be put to work.
“I was aware of what Dare to Care was doing and thought this would be a good opportunity for us to take advantage of some of these unassigned plots that Extension is responsible for, as far as mowing and keeping them clean,” he said.
Long says the project is starting small…this year, there’s about one-third of an acre at the agency’s Farnsley-Mormon community garden planted with sweet corn. But he’s hoping that they can double their capacity next year.
“This is our first year and we understood clearly that there may be some challenges and there have been,” Long said. “But these are things that we can certainly move over as we develop our crops in the spring.”
Dare to Care distributed 18 million pounds of food last year, and about a third of that was fresh produce. Director of policy and planning Stan Siegwald says the organization tries to source as much of its food locally as possible, and he’s excited about the possibility of getting some of that produce from the city’s community gardens.