Community garden helps to feed those in need

Created: July 13, 2020 06:47 PM

(ABC 6 News) - Last Wednesday, Governor Walz announced that $12 million will be distributed to the nearly 300 food shelves and seven food banks across Minnesota as a way to fight hunger across the state.

One community garden in Rochester has been helping to fight hunger locally for half a decade, and continues to help fight hunger as the amount of food distributed across the state has increased between 20-40% since 2019.
The acre and a half plot at Autumn Ridge Church in southeast Rochester has been growing vegetables like sweet corn, squash, and pumpkins since 2015.


The garden was created by two people, retired firefighter Ken Dose along with a pastor of Autumn Ridge. Since then, the produce from the garden has been collected every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday. It's then distributed to several distributors including Channel One and Community Food Response who receive the harvest on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
 "We prepare them, then ship them to Community Food Response, Channel One and a number of other organizations within Rochester the very next day with the hope that that evening, they'll be on the plates of someone who needs this food," says George Beech the Community Partnerships Pastor at Autumn Ridge Church.
 Beech says there are roughly 100 volunteers from the community who tend to the garden, each one taking a row of crops. In between the rows, flowers have been planted to help another group - pollinators.

Over the course of five years, the garden has produced and distributed nearly 12 tons of food and Beech says that with the way the weather has been as of late, he expects another year of heavy produce. 

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