HELENA — The Helena Community Gardens are not only a great way to get out working with your hands but also help to feed the community.
“Well, many people, especially around here and also in Helena, live in an apartment or in a situation where they can’t have a garden. And so, they really appreciate having the space to rent,” says the Garden Manager at East Helena Community Garden, Amie Butler.
Nearly 2,000 pounds of food has already been picked from the 10 Helena Community Gardens across the Helena area this season and given to Helena Food Share.
These gardens provide an excellent food source for families in the area. Every spring, around April and May, gardeners take to their plot of land to plant their seeds. And starting as early as June, the harvesting begins and continues through the season.
While plots do cost money, Helena Community Gardens does have a voucher program for those who can’t afford it.
While the gardens help create community, they can also serve a therapeutic purpose. This is the first year that Helena Community Gardens has partnered with a therapy program from the VA in order to bring veterans in for some gardening.
Each garden has a couple of plots dedicated to Helena Food Share. Last year, Helena Food Share received 8,100 pounds of food from this program alone.
Kim Dale, the Program Operations Director at Helena Food Share says that this program is a real benefit to the community and helps provide families throughout the area with healthy produce.
“It’s so important to the community because healthy food is healthy families. And Helena Food Share is really taking that on that we really believe that the most nutritious food that we can feed our customers, that’s a big service that we’re helping the community with, not only mental health but physical health too, providing the best local product that we can for our customers,” says Dale.