About Our Gardens
Over the 14 years of this program, MHC volunteers, interns and staff have raised more than 21,000 pounds of organic fruits and vegetables. In 2015, MHC will be tending our on-site Pantry Garden and food forest, the Crestmont Community Gardens, the Banneker Green Thumbs Youth Garden, and the southern portion of the Ernie D. Butler Park Community Gardens. The Banneker, Crestmont and Butler sites are gardened in partnership with the City of Bloomington Parks and Recreation.
At the Cupboard, we see the full food cycle many times over: We compost all our spoiled produce at the pantry, it turns into organic soil, which is then worked into vegetable gardens to help re-grow healthy food for all of us. Giving patrons and community members the knowledge, skills, and materials to start their own at-home vegetable gardens through our Garden and Youth Garden Education Program promotes long-term community and family self-sufficiency. MHC not only distributes food and education, we also offer vegetable plants and seeds to patrons interested in home gardening.
Though regular garden hours for 2014 have ended, MHC’s Garden Program hosts organic gardening workshops and demonstrations all year long. Check out the Garden Know How page for the Garden Pantry Demonstration schedule!
Read below to learn more about each of MHC’s garden sites.
Banneker Garden: Join MHC behind the Banneker Community Center to tend this gorgeous, flower filled community garden. MHC’s Banneker site serves as an outdoor classroom for an after-school program as well as a neighboring youth serving agency, and thereby includes child-centered themed garden beds. Youth are not in the garden during volunteer hours, but contact MHC if you are interested in getting further involved in youth garden programming.
Crestmont Garden: From this teaching garden, fruits and veggies are distributed directly into the Crestmont neighborhood via an MHC bike cart. Learn about intensive small scale organic gardening techniques and building soil through sheet mulching, cover cropping, and composting. The Crestmont Garden includes a large raspberry patch and a 4-bin composting system.
Butler Park Garden: MHC stewards the southern plots destined for youth garden programming in the City of Bloomington Butler Park Community Garden. The Hub Butler site includes a 16×30’ hoophouse for seed starting, vermicomposting, and season extension.
MHC Pantry Garden: Our home pantry garden at 1100 West Allen St. allows us to showcase a wide variety of food gardening techniques to MHC pantry patrons and community members. This garden includes an edible food forest, accessible raised beds, container plantings, as well as on site composting and worm composting.
Directions to MHC’s Community Gardens
Directions to Crestmont:
• Take 11th Street West from Walnut/College
• Pass Upland Brewery, Rogers St. and continue on 11th St. under bridge.
• Pass Opportunity House and turn right at Monroe St.
• Take a left onto 12th St.
• Take a right at N. Summit St.
• Turn left onto W. 13th St.
• Look for small parking lot on right, park there, garden is down the hill on your right.
Directions to Banneker:
• Head west on 7th Street from Walnut St.
• Pass Fairview Elementary School on your right
• Turn right onto Elm St. and the garden is on your right in back of the building
• There is on street parking on 7th, Elm, and 8th St.
Directions to Butler Park Garden:
• Head west on 8th Street from Walnut St.
• Turn right onto Fairview Street
• Turn left onto 9th Street and pass Ernie D. Butler Park on your right.
• The Butler Garden is at the far west end of the park, past the baseball fields. MHC manages the southern plots next to the hoop house.
Directions to the Pantry Garden:
- Take Rogers St. to West Allen St. (north of W. Patterson, south of W. 1st St.)
- Turn west on W. Allen
- Cross over Patterson St. MHC is the white warehouse with the blue awning on the right side of Allen St., across from the Budweiser Plant
MHC’s Garden Program would not exist without many generous donors. 2014 Garden Program In-Kind donors include:
- Bread and Roses
- Hart Farm
- Heartland Farm
- Harvest Moon Flowers
- Worm’s Way
- Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company
- Terroir Seeds
- Territorial Seed Company
- Johnnys’ Selected Seeds
- Pine Tree Garden Seeds
- High Mowing Organic Seeds
- Turtle Tree Seed
- Park Seed Wholesale
- Bountiful Gardens
- Wylie House
- Peaceful Valley Farm Supply
- Burpee Seeds