The Gathering Garden is located in Kootenai County Idaho. 21.4% of families in Kootenai County with children aged 5-17 live below the poverty level. There exists a great need in our community for fresh produce for low income families and free educational opportunities for the public as a whole.
The Gathering Garden has been in operation for six years and is a model urban agriculture teaching farm/garden open to the public annually. In addition to public education efforts, produce from the Gathering Garden is cleaned and packaged for distribution to low income families and distributed via Coeur d'Alene Community Action Partnership Food Bank.
The Gathering Garden is dependent annually upon outside funding to support the growing, harvesting and distribution of garden goods to low income families as well as the many free educational classes and workshops held at the garden seasonally. In addition, the garden manager is responsible for crop selection, planting, irrigation, maintenance, harvesting, distribution of garden goods and the harvest and storage of seeds. Further, the garden manager organizes and oversees all service learning activities in the garden and student interactive gardening experiences.
In the spring of 2019 KEA will install drip irrigation lines throughout the Gathering Garden in order to decrease time spent hand watering and increase on-site food production.
We currently have (3) three workshops scheduled at the Gathering Garden:
Workshop #1 - Water Conservation In Your Own Back Yard.
Sunday June 2, 2019 @ 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm
Speaker #1: Ken Keast of Eco Green Sprinkler and Repairs in Coeur d'Alene Idaho.
-Demonstration of how to use water efficiently in a residential or small farm setting.
-We will be talking about how o use eco-friendly irrigation materials to reduce waste and runoff, by matching natural precipitation rates.
Speaker #2: Tom Freeman of CDF Landscape Design in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Certified Professional in erosion and sediment control, and founding memeber of Coeur d'Alene SEEP Program.
-How can evapotranspiration in technology be used to save tons of water in our community?
-How wasted surface water is a concern and how to prevent it and conserve our ground water.
Workshop #2 - How To Create An Efficient Composting System
Sunday July 21, 2019 @11:00 am to 12:30 pm
Speaker #1: Greg Torline, Homesteader and Creative Builder in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.
-Demonstration on how easy it is to start or build your own composting station. We will supply handouts on instructions to build a compost bin.
Speaker #2: Ryan Herring, WSU Master Composter and Engineer in Spokane, Washington.
-Types of composting, what to compost, steps to create the perfect compost pile.
-How to maintain your compost pile and when you know its ready to add into your garden.
Workshop #3 - Saving Seeds From YourOwn Garden
Sunday September 8, 2019 @ 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm
Speaker #1: Jess Mannon, True to Seed Library Coordinator, Master Gardener in North Idaho.
-Why is seed important and how our local seed library contributes to community
-Demonstration on saving tomatoe seeds using fermentation method
-Everyone gets to go home with local saved tomatoe seeds
Speaker #2: Chris Ostrander, Expert seed saver from Tumtum, Washington.
-Seed saving tips for the beginner
-Learn how to separate, thresh and screen seeds to clean them for proper packaging and storing
The Gathering Garden Enhancement Project was completed in November 2019. We look forward to working with Kootenai Environmental Alliance on more upcoming projects. Please visit their site to learn more about this wonderful organization and all they do. You can also sign up to be a volunteer. https://kealliance.org/