Photos were taken during plowing of The Soul Patch. Here are a few …
Archive for May, 2009
It’s official. The Soul Patch has been plowed thanks to Ricky Masog and his tractor. Here’s the press release written to mark this auspicious event.
Ground-breaking at The Soul Patch community garden
The Soul Patch community garden became more than an academic exercise on Sunday, May 17, 2009. That’s the day Ricky Masog, owner of DMS Machine, brought his tractor into Little Falls and plowed deep, rich furrows into a garden plot measuring approximately 90 feet long by 30 feet wide next to the Morrison County Food Shelf. Masog donated his services to the project, which is the brainchild of Erik Warner, lifelong resident of Little Falls and current student of sociology at St. Cloud State University.
During Warner’s 2009 spring semester at college, he took a Senior Seminar class in which all students were required to take part in a leadership project. Warner had difficulty coming up with a project idea until a thought from the past resurfaced. Warner said, “I had often driven by the Food Shelf and wondered why this big piece of land wasn’t being used. It seemed like the perfect place for a garden.”
While community garden projects aren’t unusual, Warner’s concept is atypical compared to the way most such gardens are run. Rather than have families cultivate separate plots from which they could take home what they raised, Warner wanted this garden to become a collective community project, primarily volunteer driven, with all produce to go to the Morrison County Food Shelf.
From this seed of an idea, he moved forward, trying to make The Soul Patch a reality. He received permission from Bethel Lutheran Church, owner of the land, to create the garden. The Food Shelf agreed to distribute the produce. He has spoken to several area gardeners for suggestions on what to plant, investigated potential funding sources, and followed leads on volunteers and a youth employment program.
The project has grown bigger and more complicated than Warner expected, but all who hear of it are enthusiastic. Warner remains undaunted by the challenge. After he watched Masog finish plowing, he joked, “Now that I’ve ruined someone’s lawn, I’m fully committed. There’s no turning back now.”
Warner is seeking volunteers, plants, tools, and donations for The Soul Patch. He will be scheduling a regular meeting time once a week through the summer for volunteers to work in the garden. A blog has been created to keep people informed of garden activities. It can be accessed at http://mcsoulpatch.wordpress.com.