CALDWELL, Idaho — A group of volunteers have been coming together for five years to tend to a garden for the community.
What was once an empty plot at the Canyon Hill Church of the Nazarene in Caldwell is now a place where residents can enjoy a supply of fresh produce.
“Every week I drop off a bunch of stuff, and ever since school started it’s gone by the time everyone is done picking up their kids, and everyone has gone home,” says parent volunteer Heather Terry.
The garden partners with Sacajawea Elementary School to give freshly picked produce to students and their parents.
Heather Terry is a parent who volunteers every week. Her kids attend Sacajawea, and it was after her son told her about the community garden that she figured she could help out and give back to her community.
Just five years ago, two churches in the area came together and partnered with United Way to create the community garden.
Kathy Bilderback is a volunteer with the garden and is the pastor for the neighboring church, Evergreen Heights Mennonite Church. She says, ”We connected with the school and United Way and we got it going we thought this would be the perfect place to have a garden and so we put these beds in and expanded out there and have real crops.”
The garden is filled with cucumbers, tomatoes, corn, peppers, and much more.
Bilderback says, “This is a food scarce area… there used to be a grocery store just down below there and it went away so it became even more food scarce.”
Heather Terry, a parent volunteer, volunteers every week, her kids attend Sacajawea, and it was after her son told her about the community garden that she figured she could help out and give back to her community.
She says “I grew up where my dad had a big garden for us, so we knew where our food came from, we knew what it takes to take care of it and make sure it watered. That’s what I wanted for my kids too and I thought it was amazing and I thought this is what we needed!”
After picking the crops for the day, Heather takes them to Sacajawea Elementary to drop them off. At the end of the school day, parents come by and pick out the produce they want and need.
“Fresh vegetables, even if you’re at the grocery store, they’re still expensive and sometimes it’s tight, especially for big families. To have a garden like this to help out with some of that I think is an amazing thing,” says Terry.
The garden receives a few extra helping hands, during the fall and spring. Kindergarteners at Sacajawea help with harvesting to get involved with the garden. To get involved you can visit the Canyon Hill Community Garden Facebook page.