Como Park Zoo and Conservatory’s Chipotle Edible Garden is now partnering with Keystone Community Services to provide fresh produce to those in need. Keystone Community Services provides fresh produce from many community gardens and is always in the need for more.
The produce from this year’s Edible Garden will be going towards their Basic Needs program. According to Basic Needs Program Director Christine Pulver, “fresh fruits and vegetables are a very important part of our emergency food services.”
With more food coming into Keystone, Pulver said that “an increased supply helps us to improve the nutritional value of the food provided to families in our community.”
Keystone Community Services provides programs for seniors, individuals, and families in our community. The Basic Needs program operates three food shelves serving over 7,000 individuals each month in St. Paul and suburban Ramsey County. Keystone is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year.
In 2013, Chipotle Edible Garden staff harvested 972.5 lbs. of produce for the Saint Paul Recreation Centers’ various cooking classes and summer programs, and 231.2 lbs. that were fed to Como Zoo animals. The goal for 2014 is to exceed last year’s harvest, which totaled 1518 lbs. Some of the more interesting plants grown in the garden this year include purple cauliflower, “Small Wonder” spaghetti squash, Luffa gourds, Chinese cabbage and eight different varieties of cucumbers.
For more information on Keystone Community Services, visit http://www.keystoneservices.org/.
About the Chipotle Edible Garden
The exhibit opened Friday, June 13 and run through September 29. Trained staff and volunteers will be onsite from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. to answer guests’ questions. At 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. daily, the Conservatory gardening staff will give gardener talks about growing techniques, ways to harvest and prepare food from your garden, natural pest control, and creative edible landscape design. The garden display covers more than 8,000 square feet and is south of the Visitor Center.