Columbia's community garden kicks off growing season
The Unite 4 Health Community Garden is home to 25 different community owned plots filled with anything from carrots to cantaloupe. The garden is a result of a public-private partnership aimed to make fresh fruits and vegetables more abundant in the community.
Community growers and local leaders celebrated the opening of the garden’s second growing season Thursday, June 14th. Garden leader Mike Burden expressed his passion for the healthy lifestyles that are promoted with community gardens: “When you pick a fruit or vegetable it’s going to have the most nutrient value when it’s fresh. So the longer it travels or the longer its on a shelf it continues to lose some of that nutrient value, that doesn’t mean its not nutritious anymore but the fresher you can get it- so if I come over here and I pick broccoli out of my garden patch and I go cook it right away or eat it raw your getting the most nutrient value from it.”
City storm-water educator Mike Heimos says using rain water for plants just makes more sense: “Using rain water is natural, it rains for a reason that’s why- and all those things come out when you’re using rain water- rain water is a soft alternative water, it’s better for the plants, I myself do this at home and my plants are bigger a stronger because I use rain water instead of tap water.”
Garden leaders hope to use the site for storm water education in the future as the garden grows larger.
The garden is also affiliated with Boone County’s Women, Infants and Children program. Gardeners often share excess produce with WIC participants.