With 700 pounds of beans to pick and no one to pick them, local food growers Garden City Harvest (GCH) turned to child labor. In return for a lunch of freshly picked, fire-roasted corn, nearly 80 students from Missoula’s Sussex School giggled and harvested their way through more than 400 pounds of beans in a single morning.
The beans were destined for the Montana Food Bank Network, a statewide system that distributes food and fresh produce to food banks throughout the state. Although the K-8 graders ate a hearty portion of beans while harvesting, more than 150 hands picked the beans at their prime and delivered them to the Network’s distribution center.
“We gave more than 30,000 pounds of food to the Food Bank last year,” says organic food grower and GCH head Josh Slotnick. Those donations couldn’t have happened without the help of volunteers.
Growing and distributing food since 1996, GCH is moving from its Fort Missoula farm to a new location in the upper Rattlesnake later this month. The new locale lacks a barn, but in true GCH fashion, one will be constructed out of recently salvaged posts and beams, as well as locally grown straw.
“We’re looking for a community barn raising,” says Slotnick. “People should come out to the event and throw some bales at the groundbreaking later this month.” To learn more about the fall pumpkin harvest or the barn raising, call 523-FOOD.