A source of food for the neighborhood is being developed next to the Brentwood Darlington Community Center

DAVID F. ASHTON - Volunteers from the Woodstock Community Church - here including Tevor Wyndham, Greg Burnett, and pastor Patrick Grant - led the volunteer effort to construct planters, and then plant vegetables in them, at the new food garden next to the Brentwood-Darlington Community Center. Thanks to the help of volunteers from a church that meets in the Brentwood-Darlington Community Center, a project to create a food garden there — started on April 20 — was completed on July 9.

The project was organized by the staff of Impact NW, a nonprofit organization that operates through, and has programs at, the Community Center, which is situated at 7211 S.E. 62nd Avenue.

"Our first step is to build and fill the raised planters, which is what we're doing here today," said the project's organizer, Kathryn Sechrist, the Impact NW Science Program Manager, and Co-Chair of its Sustainability Committee, when contruction began back in April.

"We got a $2,800 grant from Southeast Uplift; the purpose of which is to create a community garden space here," explained Sechrist. "Today, we are building eight-foot garden bed boxes along the fence here. We'll also be planting several blueberry bushes in the yard, outside the boxes.

"The idea is that the space will provide families, and children, a place to learn about gardening, to grow their own food, and to assure that food is available for all community members," Sechrist told THE BEE.

In addition, they still plan to plant a variety of organic vegetables — including tomatoes, kale, spinach, onions from seeds; and strawberries from starts.

"What's made this work is the donations from our community partners — Portland Nursery, Brown Lumber, and Mount Scott Fuel — to leverage the grant," Sechrist pointed out.

After that construction day in April, the garden boxes sat empty until Saturday morning, July 9, when the pastor and volunteers from the Woodstock Community Church — they meet in the building each week — shoveled and wheelbarrowed soil from a pile in the parking lot into the planting boxes.

After only a couple of hours of hard work on that day in July, the planters were ready to grow vegetables.

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