Sunwood Community Garden Project


New at the Sunwood Apartments Growmobile site this summer are six large stock tanks that serve as community gardens for the residents.  Our goal of this project is to include both children and parents to learn about plants and vegetables, healthy eating, preparation and cooking.  During the first week, Growmobile staff and children prepared the gardens by drilling holes in the bottom and explaining why we need the soil to have a place to drain.  City of Willmar staff provided soil for the containers where we also added fertilizer to the soil. We partnered with Stacy’s Nursery to get vegetable and herb plants for the children to plant in their gardens.

During our time, Growmobile staff explained to the children about the special care for the plants.  We discussed what plants need in order to grow, best watering practices and talked with the kids about the general care for their community gardens.  Our partners, University of Minnesota Extension 4-H and SNAP-Ed staff, will also work with the children on care and nutrition education for both children and parents.

It was extremely exciting to see how involved the children want to be in the garden project.  Each day the Growmobile makes a stop at Sunwood for programming, the kids are excited to show us what new is happening in their gardens.  They are always more than willing to help water and care for the plants.  During the middle of the planting process, we had a few lettuce plants that weren’t looking well.  We didn’t plan on planting them but Abdi, age 8, asked us if he could still plant it saying he would make sure to “take extra good care of it!”  We planted it and sure enough he has given the plant special attention!

It has been so much fun to see how eager the kids are to learn about the garden and see the new growth happening.  I have enjoyed every minute of the process and look forward to continuing this project with them throughout the summer!  Special thank you to SHIP for providing funding for this project!