Waupaca Community/School Garden
Overview: The collective voices of students, gardeners, caregivers, teachers and health professionals were the inspiration behind creating a vegetable garden to produce fresh, wholesome foods for those in need in the Waupaca area. The Waupaca Food Pantry, Bread Basket, and other charitable distributors have worked diligently to meet the nutritional needs of the citizens of the community, but as we are all too aware the resources are scarce and the need continues to grow. The aim of the garden is to become the largest supplier of fresh produce to the Food Pantry, Bread Basket et. al.
Committee: A committee was established made up of representatives from the vested parties - teachers, representatives from Waupaca county Master Gardeners, members of local service groups, School District of Waupaca personnel, Food Pantry and Bread Basket board members, students and adult volunteers.
Location: Gardens need sun, soil, water and accessibility. A location was chosn with close proximity to the high school, parking, and water for irrigation. The 1.5 acre parcel is owned by the school district and after meeting with the School Board a three year committment was obtained and permission to utilize the District's water system. With some ingenuity and donations a sprinkling system is up and running.
Time Frame: The first meeting of the Garden Committee was held in January 2007 with the purpose of creating a Mission Statement and brainstorming problems and needs. After monthly and then weekly meetings ground was broken on May 1, 2007. Since then the garden has flourished and is on its way to becoming a sustainable source of good nutrition for hundreds of Waupaca residents. Harvest amounts for 2007 are listed below.
Accomplishments/Needs: So far many of the items necessary to start a garden have happened, such as: a seed drive, erection of a deer fence, creation of a water sprinkling system, School District commitment, web calendar for volunteers, lots of great publicity in newspapers and cable television and posters. Fortunately enough start-up money was secured along with donations of hand tools and bedding plants.
In the future we still need several key items: soil testing, roto-tillers, more hand tools, fertilizers, pest and weed control, composting materials, on-going money for seeds and plants, gates, signs and a tool or equipment shed.
The purpose of the Waupaca Community/School Garden is to develop a large, sustainable vegetable garden capable of providing fresh produce to meet the needs of the Waupaca Food Pantry, Bread Basket and other area charitable distributors of foodstuffs. All work at the garden will be voluntary. All produce will be given freely and fairly. All monies raised or donated will be used to purchase plants, seeds or equipment for the production of the garden produce.
(mission statement developed 2007)