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  • Last modified 125 days ago (May 16, 2019)

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Residences to get healthy garden

Staff writer

Hilltop Manor residents will soon be harvesting their own fresh produce from two 4’ by 8’ raised garden beds in an effort to provide them with access to healthier food.

The creation of the garden was a cooperative effort of the Extension Office, which applied for a $500 grant; Kansas Nutrition Council, which provided the mini-grant; and the United Methodist Men from Eastmoor UMC in Marion, who built the raised beds.

Myrta Billings, nutrition educator for the Extension Office, spearheaded the project, figuring out costs and formulating a plan.

Extension agent Tristen Cope said the grant covers all but labor costs, so Eastmoor’s men stepped up.

“The grant is covering the supplies, the frame, the nuts and bolts, the cloth, and soil,” Cope said.

Cope said the Extension Office found out they won the grant on April 1.

The USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is also funding the project.

“With that funding we’re going to be putting in the seeds and seedlings so they can have fresh produce,” Cope said. “We’re looking at peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, and other produce to be decided later.”

Planting is expected to begin next week, weather permitting, she said.

The garden beds will be east of Hilltop Manor’s office building, to make it easy to water them.

Cope said the project is part of the Extension Office’s ongoing mission to make healthy, fresh produce readily available in the community.

Eating vegetables and fruits is likely to reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases, Cope said. Fruits and vegetables provide nutrients vital for the health and maintenance of the body. Vitamin A, for example, keeps eyes and skin healthy, and helps protect against infections.

A two-acre community garden was previously established in conjunction with Marion FFA. Produce from that garden is donated to the Marion County Resource Center and Food Bank.

The Extension office is considering other community garden projects, Cope said.

Last modified May 16, 2019

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