Happy 10th birthday Rainbow Community Garden! Here are just a few highlights from the past ten years, first in photos/music. Thank you Jesse Graber for the music and thank you Aaron Barnhart for providing the written highlights below.
From Aaron Barnhart:
“We produced a tremendous amount of food in a very small space. Until recently there was less than 1,000 square feet of garden plots and raised beds in the garden. Yet we harvested between 500 and 1000 pounds of food every year from it. Most of this was high quality kitchen-ready food like potatoes, onions, spinach, peppers, tomatoes, and herbs.
“Beginning in 2015 when Ramona Cacho began teaching, we have been able to get nearly every Summer Program scholar into the garden at least once during the session. Some kids were in there weekly. While there they helped keep the beds clean, did some harvesting, and also did projects in the kitchen. Our culinary staff in past years, especially Laura Thomsen, were great in encouraging the scholars to do projects in the kitchen.
“We built relationships with our neighbors — Annie to the north, Raymond and Seleta to the south, and our late friend Pablo who always dropped by and chased off the onion thieves. Ray and Seleta also let us use their water supply before we got our own, and forgave us when we felled a tree and it took out their cable TV!
“We leveraged the assistance of numerous volunteer and grant-making organizations: Kansas City Community Gardens and the Giving Grove especially, but also the Unified Government and their H2O To Grow program, which gave us a new water tap; the Miracle-Gro Foundation; RDA; Youth Volunteer Corps of Greater KC; and numerous church groups.
“And finally, we provided a green space for fellowship and service. Dozens of Rainbow members have pitched in over the years, and our current crew has the garden looking better and more productive than ever. We are delighted to welcome back the culinary staff this summer and look forward to serving their needs and making it possible for 100+ Summer Program scholars discover that food doesn’t come from a truck!”