In 2021, our all-volunteer group assisted gardens covering over 65,000 square feet of land which produced thousands of pounds food for our community!
In just the past year, besides providing seeds, plants, water, insurance, straw, compost, mulch, tools and other equipment, we also supported new or rehabbed garden beds at the Unite4Health, St. Joseph, and Friendship gardens. We funded a covered storage structure at Claudell garden for straw, and a 20-foot storage container at Friendship garden to assist in their expansion efforts. We also supported a new youth garden at Columbia United Church of Christ, and we’re assisting with expansions at the Benton and Russell Boulevard Elementary School gardens. We are also currently working with two groups of MU occupational therapy students to assist our gardeners with disabilities. All of this despite a pandemic!!
Community gardens have been shown to improve the health of the community, they augment public safety, promote civic engagement, increase green space, improve air and water quality and increase biodiversity. We want Columbia’s community gardens to continue to thrive next year, and we hope you can help us do that!
Please consider a gift to support our mission. Any amount will help and small donations go a long way to support our small operation!
On behalf of the board of the Community Garden Coalition, we are so thankful for all our wonderful gardeners, leaders, volunteers and donors who have put their time, effort and money into member gardens in 2021!
This second year of the pandemic came with new challenges for many of us. We hope that through your garden, or even through the garden of your friend or neighbor, you found a little joy.
To wrap up our year, the Community Garden Coalition is participating in the community-wide CoMoGives fundraising campaign this December. We depend on the monetary and volunteer support of people who value our mission. Please consider making a small donation this year or contact us about joining our all-volunteer board.
Despite some lingering warm days, nighttime temperatures are trending lower and our first frost of the year is behind us now in Mid-Missouri. Did you get your green tomatoes plucked and your final sweet potatoes dug? Or maybe you’re still nursing some greens under a row cover, sowing a fall cover crop or planting garlic?
The majority of community garden plots are finished producing for the season, so it’s time to do a little housekeeping before winter sets in. We ask all community gardeners to please do the following.
If you’re at a community or group garden, let your garden leader know whether you’re planning to return next year. This will help leaders know what plots will be available for newcomers next year.
Clean up your plot. Generally, most dead plants and non-plant materials (string, wire, wood, metal, plastic, etc.) should be removed and disposed of. If you need tips on how to put your garden to bed for the winter, consult your garden leader.
Consider making a year-end donation to the CGC to help with maintaining your community garden next year. We’re a very small, all-volunteer non-profit, and even modest contributions help us fund water, mulch, tools and more to support community gardening in Columbia. Donate here today, or wait for November 30 (Giving Tuesday) when the CGC will be participating in the CoMo Gives local giving campaign.
Consider donating some of your time. Individual gardens need good leaders and team members and the board of the CGC could use new members, too. Contact your garden leader or our board members to get involved.
We received over $5,000 $5,500 in donations this year from more than 70 80 donors through CoMoGives in December!!!
That means A LOT to our small, all-volunteer organization! We are so appreciative of your support and your enthusiasm for community gardening!
These donations will go directly into our budget for assisting community gardens with water, tools, supplies, plants, mulch, fences, mowers and other garden improvements. And HALF of our total is pledged to projects at the Friendship Community Garden! Stay tuned in 2021 to watch them grow!
As December winds down, please remember that you can support local nonprofits like the Community Garden Coalition through December 31 via CoMoGives.
The money we raise through CoMoGives 2020 will fund improvements to the Friendship Community Garden and allow us to continue supporting our other member gardens with tools, water, supplies and more for the next growing season. We’re more than 70% of the way to our $5,000 goal, and you can be sure that even a small donation can make a big difference!
We appreciate all the supportive feedback we’ve gotten from gardeners and community members this year. Maybe working in your garden meant a little more to you or provided a larger portion of your family’s food. Offering people those opportunities is what we’re all about.
Thanks for being a part of our gardening community Let’s look forward to a new growing season and a new year!
Situated next to the Columbia/Boone County Health Department on City-owned property, the Unite4Health Garden offers individual plots to people from all over the community. The CGC is so happy to partner with the City of Columbia to support this large garden.
This year, we asked gardeners to share their thoughts about why they valued community gardening. A few Unite4Health gardeners shared what their community garden plots have meant to them.
“I can grow the best quality vegetables, and save an enormous amount of money, while enjoying self-sufficiency and the nurturing of a garden.” ~ Anne Jacobson, Garden Co-Leader
“The community garden has provided benefits beyond my expectations. There’s the exercise in biking or walking to and from the site along with the outside work required. I have shared the whole experience with my granddaughter as we have produced outstanding home grown tomatoes and other vegetables to savor and share with friends and neighbors. A bonus has been meeting like-minded gardeners and everyone has been extremely helpful.” ~ J.R. Holliday
“I am so grateful for my community garden plot at the Unite4Health garden. I don’t have enough sun in my yard to have one at home, and I missed gardening. I also love that I can control what goes into and on my food–no pesticides or chemical residues. There’s nothing like your own produce straight from the garden you grew yourself, and it’s so much more delicious and nutritious than store-bought. And it’s wonderful to dig in the dirt for your mental and physical health.” ~ Amanda Sprochi
There are still a few days left to show your love to community gardens in Columbia with a gift to CGC via the CoMoGives local giving campaign! We are directing half of what we raise this year to the Friendship Gardens group and the rest will help us continue supporting great gardens like Unite4Health.
And, P.S., we are so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of CoMoGives and the Community Foundation of Central Missouri. They make it so easy to give to all your favorite nonprofits that make our community what it is!
This fall, my husband Matt and I took a tour of the Interfaith Garden with Lily Chan, the garden leader. This garden is located behind the Beth Shalom synagogue at 500 W. Green Meadows Road and is a collaboration between Beth Shalom and the Newman Center. Volunteers grow a wide variety of organic produce such as greens, beans, tomatoes, okra, sweet potatoes, herbs and even persimmons for the Central Missouri Food Pantry.
When Lily showed us some planters that the Boy Scouts had built for them, I couldn’t help noticing that they looked almost identical to the ones that my husband, Matt had been building this year for us and our neighbors. When Lily mentioned that they wished they had more of these planters, I filed it away for later to ask Matt if he was willing to build some more for them. (My happy relationship tip is never volunteer your spouse/significant other without asking first!) Matt was willing! He put together an estimate for two more planters, and the Community Garden Coalition approved it and paid for the supplies. A couple of weeks later, we delivered them to the garden.
Interfaith Garden board members and Matt Knowlton (center) pose at the garden with the raised planters
Here’s what Lily had to say:
Thank you so much for the beautifully made planters you donated to the Interfaith Garden. It was a work of art. Brent, Mike, Susan, I, and all our volunteers are very grateful to you both for your generosity and kindness towards us and for contributing to the Interfaith Garden’s mission of feeding the poor in our community. And the timing is so perfect, too. We can start putting plant remains in there and top them with leaves and compost so they will be ready to be planted by spring.
This is just one of the many ways that the Community Garden Coalition is helping to support our community. Please consider making a donation to support gardens like the Interfaith Garden this December.
It’s just over halfway through December, and we’ve raised more than half of our $5,000 goal through the CoMoGives local giving program!! Thank you for all you’ve given and for sharing our message with your friends!
Speaking of halves, we’re pledging half of what we raise to the Friendship Community Garden. Find out more about this diverse, resilient garden that is trying to improve the health of their neighbors and friends with this short video from the City of Columbia.
We want to thank Vance and Becky Clearwater who kindly donated their Troy-Bilt Horse rototiller to the Community Garden Coalition last week! We got it on the 27th and put it to use on the 28th! Here it is tilling some beds at the Ann Street Garden.
If you’re thinking of donating garden tools or equipment, see our “Give Stuff” page.