Beneficiary for 2017 Woodlands Dinner on Main
The lot adjacent to City Hall on the corner of First and Court Streets will no longer be just a manicured lawn. Soon it will be much more – a gem for the community, a keystone for our future. It’s the site of Woodland’s first Edible Teaching Garden (ETG).
With the success of the 2016 Woodland’s Dinner on Main, Board Members Linda Henigan and Juan Barajas seek to further the organization’s mission. The ETG will embody that mission by promoting local agriculture and educating the community, particularly children, about growing and eating nutritious food.
“We have always seen the miracle of watching things grow, of taking pride in something you can harvest,” said Barajas, reminiscing about his grandmother cooking in her terracotta oven and the squeaky sounds of his father’s tractor. Woodland natives, Barajas and Henigan want to kick-start a sustainable city. “We want to spearhead the local farm-to-fork movement. We want to change the world one person at a time,” said Barajas.
The City of Woodland has leased the land. “Woodland is an agricultural Mecca,” said Ken Hiatt, Assistant City Manager. “It’s fitting for the City to have an edible garden at its front doorstep.”
Funding will be provided by Woodland’s Dinner on Main 2nd Annual and sold-out feast on September 17th. With preliminary designs by Boxwood Nursery, the garden’s layout will be functional and fragrant. Lavender and succulents will line the fenced entrance to provide year-round greenery, while colorful butterfly gardens will flank an outdoor classroom. The bulk of the space will host eight raised planter boxes, each with an assortment of summer and winter vegetables for successive harvests.
The garden extends a hand to future generations through education, increasing access to healthy foods and creating a sense of communal pride. The Board hopes to establish partnerships with local charities, food banks and Woodland Community College. This city’s future grows hopeful.
Jaclyn Manriquez Sandy is a freelance writer specializing in the farm-to-fork movement with a BA in English from CSU Chico.