Local students help harvest thousands of pounds of food

A local community garden is yielding thousands of pounds of food thanks to the efforts of local students.

The West Salem FFA has been tending to the garden for almost four months now. In that time, they’ve harvested 3,000 lbs. of food.

All of that food has been donated to WAFER and spread to local food pantries. “It really helps our clients get some awesome, fresh produce. It extends their monthly food budget, plus they maybe get to try some new stuff they haven’t tried before,” said WAFER’s Executive Director Erin Waldhart.

It’s the first year this garden has been growing in West Salem. Not only is it beneficial for the community to get fresh produce, but it teaches the students life skills. “How to maintain a garden, keeping it up with harvesting and weeds and what chemicals help kill weeds,” said West Salem Junior Katlynne Kneifl.

“So they know how to take and raise fresh produce and promote healthy eating and all types of different benefits from that,” said West Salem Ag. Teacher Michael Larson.

The garden is made possible by a grant from the Land O’ Lakes Foundation.

Students and Staff plan to continue this project next year.