KCU growing greens for the community

Lexi Garcia
Editorial Assistant

The Kansas City University (KCU) garden has provided the community with an abundance of fruits and vegetables since they put down roots in 2008.

Over the past 13 years the garden has grown to produce vegetables and fruits ranging from tomatoes and lettuce to cilantro, parsley, swiss chard, and even cantaloupe.

This spring season so far, they have harvested around 130 pounds of produce.

“At its peak this garden was producing 1,800 lbs of produce a season, we’re hoping to get it back to that,” said Dr. Sherrie Howell, co-chair for the garden and KCU Family Medicine Physician. She works in the garden alongside her co-chair Sara Mosinger, Medical Librarian at KCU.

One of their primary receivers is Della Lamb Community Services. The gardeners take requests from them as they serve the immigrant population in Northeast Kansas City.

“We supplement them with fresh produce,” Howell said. “Thursdays are our harvest days because we take it over to Della Lamb, and Friday is their distribution day so it gives them time to divide it up and package it however they want to package it.”

Della Lamb has helped them by supplying reusable bags to put their fruits and vegetables in.

“We’re trying to do everything as organically as we can,” Howell said. “Another thing we’re doing is getting away from plastic. We used to harvest and use plastic grocery bags but that’s not good for the earth and the earth is our community too.”

Once the students return in the fall, KCU’s health and wellness program, Champs, will bring students over from Della Lamb to show them where food comes from and how to harvest.

KCU also partners with The Giving Grove, which supplies them with cherries, apples and pears.

“The Giving Grove are our fruit trees that are specifically to donate to food banks,” Howell said. “It’s an organization affiliated with Kansas City Community Gardens where we get our supplies from and they give us tips on how to do these things.”

The garden is cultivated by a group of five to seven volunteers with most if not all being medical students from KCU.

“The students volunteer their time,” Howell said. “They do get the ability if they want to, to put it on their CV as service to their community because it is a volunteer activity.”

Mallory Feenstra, a medical student at KCU, looked forward to volunteering as it would be her first time being on campus and interacting with other students since the pandemic hit last March.

“It’s really nice to be able to do something hands on, it’s not something that’s just all words,” Feenstra said. “It’s nice to see the fruits of your labor, literally, and we get to help the community in a direct way. It’s just nice that it’s something that benefits the community in a healthy way too, we’re giving them healthy food.”

Although Howell is the co-chair for the garden, she is also a volunteer that is being paid by the university for her volunteer time.

“The university is really committed to the service aspect,” Howell said. “As an employee, I get 16 hours of paid volunteer time. I’m in charge but this is volunteer time, I’m a full time faculty.”

Being mostly volunteers, students and faculty enjoy helping out in the garden rain or shine.

“Our students put a lot of energy in this garden,” Howell said. “They’re so joyous when they’re out there, we have a lot of fun out here in the garden. And I really like it so they see me as a person, not just force feeding them knowledge.”

For more information on community gardens and programs, visit kccg.org and to apply to volunteer click under the Volunteer Tab.

Want Northeast News articles sent straight to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
Enter your email address and click on the Get Instant Access button.
We respect your privacy

Comments are closed.

  • Osage sculpture recovered

    September 15th, 2021

    GoFundMe effort to help cover restoration Michael Bushnell Publisher Under the cover of darkness on an early August night, thieves […]

    ‘Where the world collides’

    September 15th, 2021

    Della Lamb prepares to welcome Afghan refugees Abby Hoover Managing Editor Like many refugee resettlement agencies, Della Lamb Community Services […]

    YOUTH R.I.S.E. motivates young Northeast soccer athletes

    September 15th, 2021

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor The Youth R.I.S.E. soccer club is not only making a name for itself on the field, […]

    Sheffield Place debuts renovation, expands services for single mothers

    September 15th, 2021

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor Sheffield Place, a rehabilitation center and home for single mothers and their children, unveiled its much […]

    Youth football field plagued by vandals

    September 15th, 2021

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor Over the past two months, the Missouri Wolverines have been the victim of vandalism with increasing […]

    Accident takes life of motorcyclist at Indep/Spruce

    September 13th, 2021

    Just after 2am Sunday morning, KCPD officers responded to the area of Independence and Spruce on the report of a […]

    Shooting for a great cause

    September 11th, 2021

    Over 200 shooters took part today in the 6th annual John b-mesh Memorial Scholarship Sporting Clays shoot held at powder […]

    Problem building burns again

    September 10th, 2021

    Fire broke out this morning a little after 8 a.m. at an abandoned apartment building at 5208 Independence Avenue. Kansas […]

  • Lykins neighborhood searches for illegal dumpers

    September 9th, 2021

    Lykins neighborhood leadership is searching for illegal dumpers who left trash in a vacant lot owned by the Lykins Neighborhood […]

    Gallery: Kansas City Museum Derby Party

    September 8th, 2021

    Want Northeast News articles sent straight to your inbox each week? Subscribe below! Enter your email address and click on […]

    Man fatally shot at 19th and Vine Tuesday night

    September 8th, 2021

    One man is dead following an overnight shooting near 19th and Vine Street. This morning at 10 minutes after midnight, […]

    Kansas City Museum debuts renovation at annual Derby Party

    September 8th, 2021

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor The 2021 Derby Party at the Kansas City Museum, 3218 Gladstone Blvd., was a grand affair […]

    D.O. More United raises funds for Christine’s Place

    September 8th, 2021

    Michael Bushnell Publisher Christine’s Place and Relentless Pursuit are working to combat human trafficking along one of the city’s oldest […]

    Kansas City Public School’s Lincoln Prep to be featured in PBS documentary

    September 8th, 2021

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor In the heart of Kansas City sits “The Castle on the Hill,” an educational institution with […]

    Mayor announces KC Redistricting Commission

    September 7th, 2021

    Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas today announced his appointments to Kansas City’s Redistricting Commission. The Commission will hold its first […]

    There’s a new sheriff in town and it doesn’t miss a thing

    September 2nd, 2021

    Due to an ongoing spate of targeted vandalism at the Cricket Wireless store at 2633 Independence Blvd., the Independence Avenue […]

  • Northeast Newscast

  • Faces Of Northeast

  • Postcard

    Katz pays the tax

    September 15th, 2021

  • Remember This?

    Remember this?

    September 15th, 2021

  • retorts illustrated by bryan stalder

  • Want articles sent directly to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
    We respect your privacy and will not distribute your information.