"A Space to Grow...A Place to Meet...Enriching Our Community as We Grow Together"
The Kennett Community Garden is located on six acres at the corner of Vandeventer and Commercial Streets. The property was formerly Emerson Electric and has now been donated to the project by its current owner, Three Rivers College. The Garden was established in 2012 by a broad-based, grassroots coalition of churches, civic groups, schools, businesses, local gardening experts and other dedicated private citizens, all focused on one goal: Providing healthy food and nutritional crop awareness throughout the community. The Garden is a non-profit entity, operating under its parent organization, the Dunklin County Caring Council.
Each early spring, once the soil is tilled and bedded into rows, the planting begins. Some early produce is ready for harvesting by late spring, but most of the crops begin harvest around the 4th of July. The crop roster usually includes: corn and sweet corn, black-eyes peas, purple hull peas, snow peas, green beans, okra, tomatoes and heirloom tomato varietals, jalapeno peppers, bell peppers, banana peppers, radishes, squash varietals, eggplant, beets, carrot varietals, assorted kale, broccoli, edamame, turnips, watermelons and canteloupes. A new partnership with Black Gold Farms, Inc., produces a variety of potatoes, sweet potatoes and three types of onions. Also included is a Youth Garden, providing interactive and educational activities for young gardeners, under the tutelage of the University of Missouri Agricultural Extension Program's Kennett office. The Garden also sports a new wall of sunflowers, providing shade and privacy along the eastern border.
Garden produce is distributed in a variety of ways, including donations to local food banks such as Helping Hand, and nutritional outlets, such as the Kennett Nutrition Center at the Kennett Housing Authority.
An extensive outreach campaign has produced many community donations, both in goods and services, as well as generous cash donations that have enabled the Garden to meet its operational expenses. A variety of other donations include everything from heavy farm equipment to seeds and seedlings, assorted farm tools, hundreds of tomato cages and two irrigation wells. The Rotary Club of Kennett even donated a Produce Barn that doubles as a produce prep space, as well as a classroom and meeting room. And the shade tent has turned into a popular spot for volunteers throughout the workday, enjoying donated sack lunches and garden treats.
If you are interested in volunteering at the Kennett Community Garden, or in making a donation, please contact the Dunklin County Caring Council, at 573-717-1158. To make a tax deductible donation, please mail a check to DCCC-Garden, 311 Kennett St., Kennett, MO 63857.
The Kennett Community Garden pledges to:
- Engage with the Community to Promote Health and Wellness
- Provide Education Oppportunities on Agricultural Practices
- Promote Environmental Awareness
- Support the Local Food System While Making Nutritional Food Accessible to Community Members