It’s safe to say that we had the best Earth Day ever yesterday! The day started bright and early (and chilly!) at Carpenter Place, where we gathered with a generous team of volunteers to plant vegetable gardens.
Last month, we learned that we’d be receiving a $1,000 grant from Kalso Earth Shoes to fund an Earth Day project. We chose to plant vegetable gardens at Carpenter Place, a local organization in Wichita, KS that provides residence and rehabilitation for young girls and women. Their budget doesn’t often allow for fruits and vegetable beyond those in cans, so by planting two gardens full of a variety of produce, we can ensure they’ve got healthy food all summer!
We had about 20 volunteers, including Carpenter Place residents, friends from the Wichita community, Brownies from Girl Scout troop 40693 in Andover, Kans., and a few of us from DIR. The wind was sweeping down the plains yesterday, but armed in hoodies and warm cups of coffee, we got to work, and in less than three hours gave the ladies of Carpenter Place more food than they’re going to know what to do with. We promised to take some off their hands if they get too much!
Our budget was large enough that we were able to get:
- 2 raised bed garden kits
- 1 composting bin
- 2 water hoses
- 1 water hose storage cart
- 1 watering wand
- 6 tomato cages
- 4 trellises
- 5 flower pots each planted w
- Potted plants for bell peppers, egg plant, okra, tomatoes, jalapeños, banana peppers, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, potatoes, peas, cucumbers
- Seeds for black beans, green beans, carrots, spinach, lettuce, celery, beets, watermelon, cantaloupe
- Compost and soil
- Rain barrels
There’s a catch with lunch though. We went in to Jimmy John’s store 1301 in Wichita to order two platters of sandwiches to feed our crowd of volunteers. We told the manager, Ben, about our plans and what Carpenter Place does, and then he voided our transaction and told us the meal was on him. We were ecstatic! His generosity meant we had enough funds to buy drinks, fruit, and other snacks to round out our lunch. We made sure everyone at lunch knew who took care of the meal and made them all promise to pay Ben a visit!
We heard a lot of thank yous yesterday from the residents, CEO Cory, and even from the community volunteers. We can assure the pleasure was all ours. It felt really, really good knowing we’d provided these young women with more than just accessible, free fruits and vegetables, but one more life skill they can attribute to their time at Carpenter Place.
We are grateful to Kalso Earth Shoes for making this project possible with their grant. Thank you for sharing so that we could pass it on.
April 23rd, 2012