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The Smart Farm of Barrington is celebrating the spring growing season and inviting us all to visit their brand new garden and hoop house on the grounds of Good Shepherd Hospital during an open house and organic veggie seedling sale this weekend. It’s happening from noon to 4 p.m. this Saturday, May 4th. They built the hoop house on an acre of land at the hospital, with the help of many volunteers, and thanks to a grant from the Barrington Area Community Foundation in support of the Smart Farm’s mission.
Simply stated, Smart Farm’s mission is “Growing food for our neighbors in need using sustainable gardening practices.” The 501c3 not-for-profit organization donates 100% of the produce they grow to feed people who come to our local food pantries for help. And their goal is also to encourage more of us to grow our own food and better appreciate the benefits of sustainable gardening.
A woman named Kathy Gabelman gathered a small group of gardeners to form Smart Farm in 2009. It was at a turning point in her life. “My mom had just passed away and she was raised on a farm and you go through a transition in your life. I felt like I wanted to do something good and green in our community.” And, judging by the photos on Smart Farm’s Facebook page, there’s no shortage of good, green fun with this group.
They started with a community garden at Ron Beese Park where they doubled their production last year, donating 2,000 pounds of produce to area food pantries in 2012.
Last fall, they expanded to the garden and hoop house on the hospital grounds where they hope to double their production again this year, feeding even more families in our area.
Kathy says these are “educational gardens” to help everybody grow food for themselves to improve health and wellness and give back to the community……
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