There’s a movement underway in Barrington that’s been building for the past year. The leaders are a group of local gardening experts and enthusiasts who are using their skills to make a difference. They formed the group called Smart Farm of Barrington last April and they’ve been quietly growing a community garden behind the fields at Ron Beese Park. One of Smart Farm’s missions is to grow food for local families in need, and they need our help.
Smart Farm spokesperson, Kathy Gabelman, says the need for affordable food is greater than ever, especially for those who have recently lost jobs. She says that more families are coming out to local food pantries because, when times are tight, fresh produce is often one of the first things cut from the budget. Smart Farm of Barrington’s mission is to not only help grow food for these families, but to help teach us all to be better gardeners. As the Spring gardening season gets underway, they’re asking that we all consider growing more vegetables so we can collectively give more to the local food pantries. They’re also hopeful to help families with tighter budgets learn how easy it is to grow their own food. And they’re trying to cultivate a more eco-friendly community by teaching kids and adults about the benefits of sustainable gardening.
Smart Farm of Barrington is hosting a workshop at the Lake Barrington Village Hall tonight from 7:30 to 9PM. Barrington garden coach, Dicie Hansen, will be discussing how to get your vegetable garden ready to go for the summer. She’ll review composting, soil preparation, watering methods, weed barriers, pest protection and plant support options.
Tonight’s workshop is free, but they’re accepting donations of fresh produce or Caputo’s/Trader Joe’s gift cards to benefit local food pantries. If you can’t make it tonight, there are plenty of other ways to participate. You’ll find Smart Farm volunteers in the garden on weekends and they could use some extra green thumbs. To learn more about Smart Farm, their community garden and the ways you can help, visit their website at SmartFarms.org.