BEND, Ore. - The Central Oregon Food Policy Council applied for and received a Gardener's Supply Grant on behalf of the community gardens located on the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Reservation.
A total of four out of 49 grants were awarded across the nation based on need, community involvement and influence on the community and number of individuals that are served through the garden.
The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs has two community gardens located in the heart of the reservation, operated by Indian Health Services and Oregon State University Extension.
Approximately 100 community members are involved with the garden. Both gardens are in need of additional raised beds for production, seed, equipment and supplies.
The largest community garden provides garden beds to tribal members. The other garden is primarily an educational garden for the tribal elementary school. Both gardens provide educational classes on gardening and utilizing garden produce throughout the summer.
"The educational garden provides Ag-in-the-Classroom, during the school year and throughout the summer, and is the basis for daily cooking classes; the larger community garden provides donated food to tribal members throughout the summer months", stated Holly Hutton of Central Oregon Food Policy Council. "The opportunities here are tremendous and we look forward to supporting tribal members to increase food production".
The Tribes are in the process of developing a farmers market in 2013. Garden members will have micro-enterprise options for selling some of their produce. The greatest accomplishment to date has been conducting "kitchen in the garden" workshops that take produce directly from the garden and help to instill food preparation skills. "These classes are packed and there is a large demand for more educational opportunities" states Hutton.
This grant was supported by Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council (COIC) Cultivating Local Food project to support Oregon-based food system projects. Other Gardener Supply Grants were provided to gardens located in Newark Ohio, Greenville South Carolina and Winooski Vermont.
For more information about gardens in Central Oregon visit: http://centraloregonfoodpolicy.org/projects-2/community-gardens/