The inaugural season of the Kane County Government Center volunteer garden grew an abundant yield with 1,031 pounds donated to the Batavia Interfaith Food Pantry.
The vegetables and herbs- including different varieties of tomatoes and peppers, pumpkins, summer squash, cilantro and basil- were donated thanks to the work of Kane County staff volunteers who developed the garden on the Geneva campus.
"We are so grateful for the beautiful fresh produce provided by the Kane County Community Garden this year! It is always a treat to be able to offer homegrown garden vegetables to our families; there is nothing like the taste of a garden fresh pepper or tomato," said Eileen Pasero (pictured), Executive Director of the Batavia Interfaith Food Pantry and Clothes Closet (www.bataviafoodpantry.org). "It was also a joy getting to meet some of the Kane County employees who worked so hard on the garden; they always delivered with a smile. Thank you, Kane County - we can't wait for next year!"
Kane County staff volunteered their time to maintain the 24-by-24-foot garden plot and harvest the bounty every week, which was then delivered to the food pantry.
"This year's goals were met. We established a permanent garden location, supplied food to a local food pantry and built some camaraderie with other county staff volunteers," said Kurt Lebo, Kane County’s Spatial Solutions Officer and co-creator of the garden. "We need additional tomato cages for next year, and will once again start some plant from seedling with the addition of some grow lights. We were happy with the layout and will likely plant similar varieties with the addition of zucchini or cucumbers," Lebo said. "We hope to keep the garden flourishing for years to come."
The Government Center Garden was made possible with the donation of materials and services by area organizations including the Geneva Home Depot, Neri Landscaping, Midwest Compost, and the Kane County Forest Preserve. Several residents also donated tools and plants for the effort.