From the fall of 2014 to the winter of 2017, Sidestreams assisted the “Newport Community Gardens” project in Newport, Kentucky. The nearest supermarket for the residents of Newport’s West side is a 25 minute walk, making it difficult to access fresh vegetables for a daily diet. The Doug and Shelia Bray Foundation and the Brighton Center teamed up to solve this issue by initiating the gardening project. Eight different community garden plots were built throughout Newport ranging in size from 2 to 90 garden beds.
The Newport Community Gardens have two goals:
- Increase access to fresh vegetables for the residents of the West side of Newport
- Increase knowledge of ways to grow, harvest, and cook the vegetables so everyone can enjoy a healthier diet.
During our time in Newport we supervised and taught basic gardening skills to inmates at the Campbell County Detention Center (CCDC) production garden. Time spent learning and working in the garden was applied to an inmate work release program.
While involved with the CCDC garden we oversaw the production of nearly 3500 lbs. of produce that was sold to the Neighborhood Farmer’s Market of Northern Kentucky, local restaurants, and individuals. An additional 2000 lbs. of fresh produce was donated to the Brighton Center, food pantries, and individuals.
Along with the CCDC garden, Sidestreams supported the mission by providing staffing, compost, seeds, and plants to the gardens in the network; the Ann St. Community Garden, St.Paul’s, Holy Spirit, and others.
Our three year experiment of organizing and working with the Newport Community Gardens project came to an end in 2017. We wish them fruitful and productive seasons to come.