This summer, our Master Gardeners in Pueblo County didn’t have a lot of chances to volunteer in the community due to COVID-19. Luckily they were able to participate in a few COVID safe projects, one of them being a partnership with a local organization, The Pueblo Food Project, called the Edible Landscapes Project.
This project is an initiative to provide fresh produce to anyone who wants or needs it, and also to provide education to the community on growing food.
The project had three public sites, each with 2-3 volunteers working at them. Through the PFP, the volunteers were given a budget to buy plants and prepare their planters. Edible plants were added to each site, and signage was added to encourage passers by to take any produce that they wanted. Any excess produce is being donated to local food banks.
Later on in the year, signage was added that explained what was growing the plots and gave information on how to use it, nutritional value, and growing tips. Videos were also made that showed off the gardens and promoted them to the community.
Community members definitely took advantage of the fresh produce up for grabs. I live just down the street from the Mineral Palace Park site, where I walk almost daily, and have seen countless people picking produce and just marveling at the magnificent plants growing there.
We are at the end of the season, and we did have a freeze a couple of weeks ago, so the plants are starting to lose their luster a little bit, but that being said they do still look pretty good. Here are some photos of one of the sites that I took today, complete with a photobomb by my bloodhound, Layla. To see the gardens earlier in the year and get a personal virtual tour from our Master Gardeners, check out the videos linked above.