October 20, 2020

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Garden Plot Volunteers Harvest Donations for Loaves & Fishes

This post was contributed by a community member. The views expressed here are the author’s own.

Volunteers displaying some of the produce gathered at the Ron Ory Community Garden Plots on Oct. 13
Volunteers displaying some of the produce gathered at the Ron Ory Community Garden Plots on Oct. 13 (Naperville Park District)

On Tuesday, October 13, 41 volunteers gathered the remains of the harvest following the official closing of the Ron Ory Community Garden Plots for the 2020 season.

Volunteers included individuals from the Naperville Evening Kiwanis, Naperville Community Gardeners, University of Illinois Extension master gardeners and from the community at large. They gathered the produce left in the gardens and sorted it for donation to Loaves & Fishes Community Services.

This year, the gleaning yielded 760 pounds of produce. Additionally, throughout the summer, the team of master gardeners who maintain the “Giving Garden” at the Ron Ory Community Garden Plots donated nearly 700 pounds of produce—with most going to Loaves & Fishes, and some to West Suburban Food Pantry.

“We are grateful for the continued support from the Naperville Park District,” said Eric Gardner, Loaves & Fishes Director of Philanthropy. “Thank you for sharing your healthy harvest with our clients.”

Now that the Garden Plots are closed, Park District staff will remove stakes and prepare the area to be plowed by a local farmer. Continuing a post-Halloween tradition, the Naperville Park District will host the fourth annual Pumpkin Smash at the Garden Plots on Saturday, November 7 from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Residents are invited to drop off their Halloween Jack-O-Lanterns to be smashed and composted into the soil, adding water and nutrients and keeping pumpkins out of the landfill. Prior to attending the Pumpkin Smash, participants are asked to review the COVID-19 Participation Guidelines for Outdoor Events. For weather cancellation information, visit napervilleparks.org/cancellations.

The Ron Ory Community Garden Plots are located at 811 S. West St.

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