The Ottumwa Courier


April 9, 2013

Beating hunger through community gardens


"Since that time, most of the lots have been transferred to someone else," Gates said. "But we have others scattered around the city. There are a couple in the 1700 block of West Main [Street], and we have some tucked away behind a stand of trees on North Clay Street. There are all kinds of properties the city has held for a long time, but they haven't been able to sell them for any particular use."

In the past, Marshall Dias has asked the city about purchasing vacant lots for community gardens, though his idea stemmed from a beautification standpoint rather than food insecurity.

"This is a way of finding an alternative use for those empty lots the city is spending a tremendous amount of money on maintaining," Dias said. "We don't do enough of that old-fashioned, Mother Earth, 'get your hands dirty' kind of stuff."

Ottumwa Community Outreach Ministry director Yvonne Baldwin-Greene said community gardens have been on her brain for the past couple of years.

"This is something that could both teach the clients we serve as well as build a supplement for more nutritious meals," she said. "The people we're serving could learn how to garden, then do it in their own backyards."

Several others came with the idea of helping feed Wapello County seniors.

"I have a vision that we could have a large garden project at the airport involving Job Corps and the Master Gardeners of Wapello County," said Ron Brickey, Food Bank of Southern Iowa board member.

Mary Lou Mason said area seniors are "deprived" since there are few places for them to get fresh produce.

The food bank's executive director, Neal Abbott, suggested that some of the food products that result from community gardens could be distributed to low-income persons, whether through the food bank, church kitchens or area pantries.

Text Only
  • Parks Dept. has long list of projects

    OTTUMWA — The Parks and Recreation Department has approved a list of capital improvements for the next two years that includes the installation of handicapped-accessible swings and new park bathrooms.

    July 9, 2014

  • 0710 Farmers Market Color Photo 1 -L -M Fresh food improves community

    OTTUMWA — Every summer across the Midwest, food stands pop up on gravel roads, and farmers markets are filled with a variety of home-grown products. Finding a fresh selection of healthy greens and juicy fruits isn't as hard as you might think. Accord

    July 9, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0703 OTT Heart boy photo A Heartfelt Miracle OTTUMWA — It’s funny how wishes can change so completely in just a few weeks. But laughter wasn’t the reaction of Jeff and Mary Penrod.The Ottumwa couple’s son, Brandon, was 18 years old when, in February, Mary took him to the Pella clinic to get loo

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0703 OTT River Hills parking lot color photo -L -T River Hills expansion progresses

    OTTUMWA — Expanding River Hills Community Health Center downtown continues to be a priority with the Ottumwa City Council. Earlier this week, the council authorized city staff to survey the property, prepare a draft developers agreement as well as pr

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • Street repair program begins OTTUMWA — If you think roadwork projects in the city of Ottumwa are just about complete, think again. This week, the Ottumwa City Council awarded its preventative maintenance contract for sealing cracks in asphalt and concrete pavement roads througho

    July 2, 2014

  • A new look OTTUMWA — The 300 block of East Main Street in Ottumwa will be getting a facelift. During a public hearing earlier this week, the Ottumwa City Council gave its OK to the plans and specifications to renovate 15 buildings’ storefronts in downtown Ottum

    July 2, 2014

  • City won't tolerate bad behavior

    OTTUMWA — A newly designed policy to establish standards of behavior was presented to Ottumwa City Council on Tuesday night.The new policy’s introduction on Tuesday, demands city staff and elected officials exhibit professional behavior when they int

    July 1, 2014

  • 0702 OTT library grant color photo -T -L -M Ottumwa Public Library updates genealogy room

    OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa Public Library is the recipient of a Bright Ideas Community Enrichment Fund Grant from the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation. The Friends of the Ottumwa Public Library group gave $5,520 to put toward a new microfilm reader. The

    July 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0625 OTT Riverfront Renaissance color photo -L -M Riverfront Renaissance begins mapping out ideas

    OTTUMWA — It was serious work to play with stickers and maps Tuesday evening. Concentration was on more than 70 faces as colored dots found their way up and down several maps of the river flowing through downtown Ottumwa. The Ottumwa Regional Legacy

    June 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0624 OTT Marine photos Marine mourned by family

    OTTUMWA --- Adam Wolff's extended family was able to enjoy a bit of time with him before he deployed. "He came back in March, after his [Marine Corps advanced] schooling in North Carolina," said his sister, Angela Malone. "We had a dinner for him, a

    June 23, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

AP National