Marion Community Garden
In December of 2015, the Marion FFA Chapter received a two acre parcel of land from the Marion School District with the intent to start a Community Garden. After months of grant writing, planning, and recruiting volunteers, the Community Garden was established. The spring of 2016 was spent working the land, and planting the various kinds of produce. As the gardening season progressed, several volunteers along with the FFA Chapter harvested produce including: corn, potatoes, summer squash, beets, onions, and carrots. This produce was then donated to the Marion County Resource Center Food Bank.
During the fall of 2016, Marion County’s K-State Research and Extension Office received the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education Grant (SNAP-Ed). The SNAP-Ed is sponsored by the USDA through a contract with the Department for Children and Families and is implemented by K-State Research and Extension. The goal of the SNAP-ED Grant is to provide nutrition education to individuals and families who receive food assistance or who are eligible to receive food assistance.
In Marion County, the SNAP-ED Grant provides fiscal assistance to the Community Garden by purchasing the Garden’s Plants and Seedlings for the harvesting season. We have also had the opportunity to provide nutrition education through food demonstrations while at the Marion County Resource Center Food Bank. The produce purchased has included: Tomatoes, Peppers, Lettuce, Asparagus, Strawberries, Rhubarb, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes, Carrots, Beets, Radishes, Turnips, Swiss Chard, Herbs, Cucumbers, Okra, Onions, Squash, Watermelon, and Sweet Corn. Community Garden Volunteers then assisted the FFA Chapter in planting the seedlings and plants in the garden. The Marion City Crew was also used as a resource to provide compost, water, and dirt work throughout the gardening season.
During the 2017 Harvesting Season, the Community Garden has been able to donate over 1,800 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables to the Marion County Resource Center Food Bank. The 2018 Harvesting Season produced over 6,000 pounds of fresh produce that has been donated to the Marion County Resource Center Food Bank! To date, the 2019 Harvesting Season has produced over 6.000 pounds of fresh produce with more to go!