Started in 2008 as a way to encourage school kids to enjoy vegetables, the Kid Garden at Cooperstown’s elementary school has grown an offshoot.
Headed by Kristen Griger and set up by the organization Growing Community, the Kid Garden is an organic vegetable, herb and flower garden located at the CCS school on Walnut Street.
This past year the Lions Club got involved in the project, leading to a round of brainstorming on how to expand the project. Since the garden had been so successful, the idea developed to start growing food specifically for local food pantries.
“The Lions Club of Cooperstown recently donated materials, time, and skills to expand and improve the garden in a effort to raise more food to be donated to the Cooperstown food pantry. Community members, staff, and students will work together to help feed hungry people in our area,” said Griger.
The club expanded the garden and the irrigation system to make the garden bigger and to produce more food.
During the summer months, all of the produce will be donated to the pantry.
In September, some of the product will go directly to the students. In particular, the lettuces and greens will go to the school cafeteria for school salads.
Originally the project was to set up to help the students learn about food, where it comes from and how to eat it in a healthy manner.
“It’s important for us to teach kids where their food comes from. It’s amazing that kids who have a hand in growing food are much more inclined to eat it. I have kids eating beans off a bean bush who have no idea that’s where their food came from,” said Griger.
The garden is also the demonstration garden for the Growing Community organization.