The community of Butte Valley has been working collaboratively to create and sustain a community garden that can help contribute to local food pantry and benefit the community as a whole. The Garden is in the town of Dorris which is located at a high elevation and has a short growing season. In order to produce a larger variety of vegetables the garden needs a greenhouse that would allow for seeds to be started earlier and provide an opportunity for more food for the community.
How will 4-H Help?
The Butte Valley 4-H club decided to build a low-cost Hoop House to help the community garden meet its goals. The members collaborated with the local veterans group to provide the labor and education needed to complete the hoop house project. The land to place the hoop house was secured with a land donation from the museum.
The original desired outcome was to help provide a tool that would allow for more plants to be started earlier in the season, resulting in a larger harvest for the community food pantry. However, the impact of the completed project has led to many additional opportunities. The hoop house was completed in the Fall of 2013. The family resource center that oversees the community garden is already growing plants for the garden and preparing to sell some early plants at local farmers markets in order to cover annual garden costs. Having a tool to help sustain the garden program will help keep the program for years to come. The garden and the hoop greenhouse are being used by the local elementary school as a part of their farm to table program. Students are learning how to plant seeds, transplant plants and care for gardens and ultimately learn how to grow their own food. It is still too early to see if the garden will be able to provide more food to the local food pantry but the early rewards have already paid great benefits to the community!