The Manna Garden is growing in more ways than one! This year after following all of the Spring's Biodynamic Prep's, the garden is looking more luscious and healthy than ever before. We just harvested our first raspberries and currants (more than just a few handfuls terminating into your mouth). The new Manna Hoop House is filled with beautiful tomato and cucumber plants, and 6 new raised beds are filled with healthy green beans, peppers, tomatoes, and potatoes.
But almost as important as the health of our garden, our community partnerships and programs have grown as well. With the introduction of the Manna Market free produce stand, The Garden Project is reaching more and more people each week. The Manna Market has already served over 100 food insecure families in La Plata County. Many of these families have ventured past the garden gates now to experience the place where their fresh produce is grown.
The Manna Market is run by our Manna Garden Interns who spend 7 to 10 hours in the garden weekly. The interns clean beds, plant, trellis, fertilize (compost tea), weed, transplant and start seeds when they are not running the market. Our partnerships with Celebrating Healthy Communities, La Plata Youth Services, and the City of Durango make the internship possible.
So far this summer we have also worked with Upward Bound, Community Banks of Colorado, Fort Lewis Sociology Field School, Cooking Matters, WIC, and Animas High School. 2016 has already brought twice as many volunteers and participants to the Manna Garden. Thanks to everyone who has kept our garden growing into 2016. The growth as you can see is multi-faceted and "fertilized" by our many community partners and greater community.