Growing food, when done with friends and neighbors, is also an opportunity to grow community.  Marion-Polk Food Share (MPFS), a local nonprofit organization does this very well – and we’re proud to share the experience together.  Throughout the year, we partner and interact with MPFS at events like the MPFS seed swap and Salem-Keizer Education Foundation’s Ag Fest to help address the issue of hunger and self reliance in our region.

MPFS logo

MPFS is a vital part of Salem’s community that is growing leaders and self-reliant citizens as it grows and provides food to those in need. Besides offering food for local food pantries and hungry families, they also teach people how to rely on themselves more by offering cooking classes, coordinating community gardening spaces, working with the Dept. of Corrections to grow crops, and teaching how to farm, garden, and cook.  

youth farm

Pringle Creek Community (PCC) contributes to the greater Salem community partly through donations to MPFS.  At the MPFS Seed Swap, we gave away rosemary starts, seed potatoes, garlic bulbs, and onion sets.  In the spring we contributed 99 plants for the many MPFS-supported community gardens.  At harvest time here at PCC, we donated 1600 pounds of produce and 220 pounds of plums to help alleviate hunger in our community.  The fruit was harvested by another great local nonprofit, Salem Harvest, who came out to collect the plums, donated at least half of that harvest to MPFS, and their volunteers kept the other half. 

squash in truck MPFS squash1

plum bounty 2014Peppers and squashes 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colleen, our Urban Farmer and all-around gardener and beekeeper, helps teach people how to grow food organically.  She’s preparing for the Sustainable Living Center (SLC) at Pringle Creek’s 2016 Urban Farming class series that starts in February where she and other guest instructors teach participants how to create and maintain a successful organic garden.  Her students learn about soils, garden insect pests and allies, garden planning, fruit tree pruning, harvesting, canning, and much more.

pringle creek community - nature (colleen's garden harvest) pringle creek community - nature (glasshouse)

 

 

 

pringle creek community - garden (4H kids at table)

The work that MPFS does to address the issue of hunger in our community is vital to everyone.  MPFS is also very good at working with other groups and organizations in Salem.  We’re proud to work alongside them to help to feed those in need as well as teach others how to grow delicious, nutritious food for themselves.