I think for Garden City Harvest how much room to grow obviously is oriented around our capacity. I really feel like we have a good handle on what some of the bigger challenges are. In retrospect when you think of some of our challenges: we've done the easy stuff—which is grow a bunch of food and find places to distribute it. But, as we found out, the bigger task is to cut back on waste and to empower people through skills as to how to use the food.

 - Greg

chad harder

 

Greg  |  Neighborhood Farms

 

Growing up, I have plenty of stuff I needed to recover from.

 

I grew up in a lot of different places because we moved around. Baltimore, Maryland, Texas…I was raised by my parents. They got divorced when I was 6. My mom and my brother and I lived with my grandparents for a little while until we got on our feet. My grandfather hunted and fished and gardened. I did a little bit of hunting with my grandfather. I fished a bunch with him.

 

I was in the Air Force in Germany.  Then I came back from there went to college for philosophy and psychology—that was in Pennsylvania. Then, I took a trip with my partner at the time and found Missoula. We were introduced to a whole new world that we never knew existed.

 

I've become the person that I want to be more and more. Healing from my personal injuries.

 

I feel very good about the choices I've made is being a part of an organization that turning out to be successful, impactful. I love the place that I live very much. I feel really good about where I'm at right now.

 

History

In those early days I was dropping off mountains of food at the Missoula Food Bank and at the time there was someone else was gleaning stuff from farmers market stands for the Food Bank so you'd walk into the walk-in [cooler] and there was just grocery carts full of wilting vegetables. We needed to figure something out.

 

We started a small CSA up in the rattlesnake – the first in Missoula.  There were community garden plots and we were running a vigorous Volunteer for Veggies program.

 

Room to grow

Room is literal as in the capacity for people to grow the organization. But, it's also figurative in that there is still room in this realm of food that we've barely barely entered and that we need to enter if we really want to see a profound effect.

 

I really feel like we have a good handle on what some of the bigger challenges are. When you think of some of our challenges we've done the easy stuff, which is grow a bunch of food and find places to distribute it. The bigger task is to cut back on waste and to empower people through skills as to how to use the food. Once they see the results, then it becomes its own and inertia and moves itself. As I think about the future, think about room to grow, the most exciting thing for me is creating more biodiversity on the farm. We are planning for fruit trees, berries and native trees, and planning room for critters. It will be a little oasis of biodiversity in the midst of an urban landscape.