Mid-Michigan Food Bank Increases Gardener’s Opportunities

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By Jacqlyn Burnett
Ingham County Chronicle staff writer

INGHAM COUNTY—The Garden Project has expanded its opportunities and resources for gardeners and has expanded to seven counties this season with the new merger of the Mid-Michigan Food Bank.

With the expansion, The Garden Project has refocused that assistance to help the whole community. The Garden Project provides resources for gardeners and food for the community members through the garden project.

“We really like the fact the community gardens together,” said Valley.

Currently, The Garden Project is gearing up for spring planting. Gardeners and volunteers are clearing debris and spreading mulch so gardeners can plant as soon as the ground thaws.

The Garden Project Gardens and Growers Coordinator Neal Valley said the new gardens will be located in every corner of our gradation. Gardens are located in Ingham, Eaton, Clinton, Shiawassee, Gratiot, Clare and Isabella county.

The Garden Project will now offer workshops and classes to help people improve and gain skills to become successful gardening.

“The training process has just ended and there are about 75 unique participants that that have gone through,” Julie Lehman, garden program coordinator, said.

These participants will teach gardeners how to better engage with their community or build a garden from scratch. Gardeners will learn how to organize gardening events to build and sustain their gardens as well assign roles in their community.

“We are opening an incubator farm to teach others hands on how to grow and market the food so it can be profitable for their families,” said Sarah Szwejda, Lansing’s Food Bank volunteer coordinator.

Gardeners can use the resource center if eligible which offers free seeds, seedlings, tool borrowing and gardening and cooking information.

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