Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Garden Talk: Volunteers feeding the success of community garden

by Marisol Novak, Ecology's garden coordinator

Volunteers planting potatoes on May 18th, 2013.

Food Bank Garden at the Department of Ecology.
Beginning in 2011, the Washington State Department of Ecology’s Sustainability Team sponsored the development of an organic Food Bank garden. It is located behind the agency’s headquarters building in Lacey, WA in a sprawling meadow. The Washington Conservation Corps and department staff donations continually support this community-style garden. Department staff volunteer on their free time, during the lunch hour and after work. The garden team donates all the food grown to the local Thurston County Food Bank.

In the garden’s first year, potatoes were the sole crop. This year, however, the Food Bank Garden has expanded its crop variety to include a long list of vegetables. Today in the garden you will find lettuce, spinach, beets, squash, broccoli, tomatoes, carrots and a few herbs such as cilantro, basil and rosemary. Generous donators even contributed sunflowers, marigolds and cosmos!

On May 18th, 2013, 20 volunteers made up of Ecology staff, as well as students from high school and The Evergreen State College, volunteered in the rain to plant potatoes and tomatoes for the season. With so many helping hands we even laid down irrigation for the summer season.

Anyone interested in volunteering in the garden either during the week or on weekends, contact Mari Novak @

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