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Community garden in Ivanhoe neighborhood hopes 'Harvest Days' event fills gaps in local food desert

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Community Garden in Ivanhoe Neighborhood
Posted at 4:09 PM, Jul 11, 2023

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A community garden planted in Kansas City, Missouri's, Ivanhoe neighborhood near east 37th Street and Woodland Avenue is sowing the seeds of change.

"Maybe just a couple people start, but once more people see it happening, they want to know what's going on," said Rosie Warren, manager of the community garden. "They want to join in. Harvest Day for sure has built so much community."

The garden itself has had roots here for a while, but for the last four Tuesday mornings, volunteers and staff have hosted Harvest Days, where the community can pick produce for free.

Warren is seeing growth. In the four weeks the garden has been open for Harvest Days, volunteers have given out more than 150 pounds of produce.

"So that tells me that this is something that's really, really wanted," Warren said. "This is something that's needed."

Leah Massey lives nearby and stopped by the garden to stock up for her family.

"The prices of food and groceries have gone up so exorbitantly, not to mention that whole property tax thing," Massey said. "So with all that in play, I think it's important to be able to access food."

That access isn't so easy, parts of Ivanhoe are considered a food desert.

"The median household income is under $30,000 for this community," said Alana Henry, executive director of the Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council. "And what that means for the reality of eating is, there's less expendable income for food."

Warren manages it but she isn't alone. It's a team effort with all farmhands on deck.

"So we take it a step further, we offer the free produce and then at our community center monthly we offer a cooking class," said Nadine Donovan, with the Ivanhoe Farmers Market.

Cultivating a fresh take on what a community garden can be, and and taking care of Ivanhoe from farm to table.