Food Waves, a nonprofit partnered with Converging Creeks Farm in Colton, broke ground on a community garden at Colton Helping Hands Food Bank on Friday, March 21. The goal is to use the garden as a demonstration of sustainable farming techniques, training families in Colton to grow their own food. by: CORY MIMMS - Left to right, Matt Brown, Christopher Boss, Aaron Boss, and Daniel Whipple put the beds in place.

Food Waves received a grant for almost $7,500 from the Clackamas County Department of Health, said Matt Brown, Food Waves co-executive director. With the money and help from Colton residents, Brown built four 6 foot by 4 foot raised garden beds to grow vegetables in behind Helping Hands. They also installed four oak barrels to grow strawberries and herbs in, and they deer and rabbit proofed the garden.

Food Waves will then host five training sessions, revolving around building a home garden, controlling pests, farming techniques, preserving and canning food for winter, and setting up a garden for the colder months. The remaining money will go to pay for ten families in Colton to build their own home gardens.

The idea for the garden arose “really organically,” Brown said. Students from Colton High School will maintain the garden so that the food bank’s employees aren’t overloaded with work. The vegetables the garden produces will get harvested and then distributed through Helping Hands.

“It gives [the food bank] fresh foods,” Brown said. “They get a lot of canned food donated, but not a lot of fresh stuff.”

Food Waves was founded in 2010 and received its nonprofit status in 2012. The nonprofit’s goal is “to promote sustainable agriculture as a long-term solution to major environmental issues facing the overall health of the world’s soil, water and people,” and “develop future farmers and gardeners by providing the technical and financial support necessary to learn how to grow local organic food.”

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