Our garden during COVID-19
Garden maintenance looked different during the COVID-19 pandemic but thanks to our small but mighty, internal garden team and partners at UMKC, we met the garden's needs and maintained the safety of our volunteers.
In 2020, MO Hives KC was able to add a beehive to support pollination of garden plants. We also installed a drip irrigation system.
To date, volunteers from Children’s Mercy, University Health Truman Medical Center, the UMKC School of Medicine and other Kansas City businesses and organizations have invested thousands of hours to harvest over 1600 pounds of fruits and vegetables.
We continue to distribute produce to Children’s Mercy patients and families and to local community partners. New groups reached during the pandemic and beyond include: the UMKC Health Science Kangaroo Pantry and the Kansas City Missouri Health Department pop-up food pantries. The Children’s Mercy Weight Management clinic also distributes the produce to patients and families along with healthy cooking instruction.
Like all gardens, this one is ever-changing as the plantings change from season to season and new opportunities arise. We look forward to each season as beds are expanded, new fruits, vegetables and flowers are planted, and additional infrastructure is added to better meet the needs of the people we serve.
Work in progress includes increasing the accessibility of the garden to people of all abilities and planning the planting of an insectary garden. This insectary garden will provide a habitat for bees and other pollinators while providing learning opportunities to the community we serve.
Over the past couple of summers, we partnered with Kanbe’s Markets to support the expansion of a pilot project, that delivers produce from the garden to the homes of families with young children through a home visiting program. Kanbe’s packaged and supplemented the garden produce that was delivered in our 8-week program. Their help enabled us to reach 50 families last growing season!