Sowing seeds and transplanting vegetable starts grows more than copious amounts of nutritious, organic produce at the Shared Harvest Community Garden (located at 10th and Foster). The Garden brings together friends and neighbors of all ages and walks of life, to provide organic produce for food assistance and to beautify our neighborhood. Connections between participating families, neighbors, friends, agencies, businesses and schools have grown noticeably through these voluntary efforts.
True to the mission of growing, learning and giving Shared Harvest allows plot owners to rent a plot for a season to grow anything they like, some choose to grow only heirloom carrots others tend to “salsa” gardens that include all of the produce one needs to create a fabulous fresh salsa. Learning comes in many fashions, formal classes on various gardening subjects are held periodically and community members observe different forms of organic permaculture, new crops and growing techniques as they pass through the garden. Themes such as beneficial insects, biodiversity and the habitat needs of local wildlife have inspired annual children’s plays which inspire the youngest members of our community to learn the importance of organic garden techniques. The water-wise demonstration garden allows visitors to view a variety of native and exotic drought tolerant plants rambling along a landscaped garden path. The City of Coeur d’ Alene Water Department, Kootenai Environmental Alliance and Shared Harvest are united in their hope that visitors will be inspired by the demonstration garden and not only learn more about water conservation but convert some water thirsty lawn into drought tolerant habitat. Giving back some of the urban landscape to native plantings can support wildlife in addition to conserving water.
The garden serves as much needed open space in Coeur d’ Alene’s downtown core where people can come together not only to enjoy a beautiful space but, to join in the age old critical task of food production. In a joint effort to produce and distribute food to people in need, Shared Harvest has partnered with KEA’s Community Roots Local Food Share program to make the Garden a key collection center. People throughout the community are invited to come to the quaint, rustic shed at Shared Harvest on Wednesday nights from 5:30 – 7:30 pm July till the middle of October to give produce for distribution. Sometimes the bounty is overwhelming as boxes of tomatoes and zucchini are weighted and packed for distribution. In the last 7 years more than 50,000 pounds of produce has been distributed to 15 different food assistant facilities. Community members who participate have noted that they benefit by being outside bending and weeding in the beautiful open space and that they feel good knowing they are providing their families and the larger community with much needed delicious, nutritious food.
There is no doubt that anyone involved with the Shared Harvest Community Garden gives of themselves and their produce but receives the bounty provided by this hub of learning, creativity and community.
To reserve a plot, come on down to the Shared Harvest Garden for the Spring Clean-up on Sunday, April 10th at 10:30AM.