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Farm in the Dell

Farm in the Dell 1
 
Farm in the Dell 1
Karen Urlacher -

As a recipient of the NDNC mini grant, we were able to purchase needed gardening supplies, plants, and seeds for our “Farm in the Dell” 50x150 foot garden by the Catalyst Medical Center in Fargo.  Farm in the Dell of the Red River Valley is a non-profit organization that is seeking to provide a rural home and worksite for people with disabilities.  It began in MT with 5 homes, but this would be the first one in the Fargo-Moorhead area.

Twice a week, several volunteers and young people with disabilities would help in the garden by preparing the soil, planting, weeding, and finally harvesting.  We planted nearly 200 tomato plants, 150 pepper plants and many other vegetables.  We even were able to get sweet potatoes to produce well! We offered 20 CSA’s (community supported agriculture) boxes of vegetables each week too, including a “First Fruits” box that went to someone in need.  Next year we hope to double these.  We also sold vegetables at a farmer’s market, an assisted living facility and at a large apartment complex catering to the elderly.  Many of these people do not have access to freshly harvested vegetables and were grateful to come each week.  They were also very kind and patient with the people with disabilities as they were learning to weigh vegetables and run a cash register.

As the young people with disabilities were exposed to a variety of fresh vegetables and took pride in tending their garden, they were also receptive to trying the new vegetables too.  There were people that didn’t like hardly any vegetables asking for squash, beets, sweet potatoes and tomatoes!

Overall it was a great experience for all involved by getting healthy, fresh vegetables to some of the more “shut-in” elderly, the people who purchased our CSA’s and the volunteers and young people with disabilities.  New skills were also learned that can be used one day on their own Farm in the Dell farm in the near future.  Thank you NDNC for supporting us with a mini grant.

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