Corvallis WORMS Garden
History: W.O.R.M.S. Garden
A dozen youth broke ground at the Corvallis garden in February 2011 with an ambitious vision: In place of a grassy field would soon be 10,000 square feet of veggies, flowers, fruit trees and berries. The group named their garden W.O.R.M.S.: Working Organically to Research and Manage Sustainability.
Youth sold produce at the Corvallis Farmers’ Market community table and at a road-side stand, packed it into bags for customers at OSU, and donated it to community organizations. In 2011 youth harvested over 700 pounds of produce. In 2012, they harvested over 2200 pounds!
Each fall they celebrated a successful season with a Harvest Party that drew nearly 100 community members, and included cider pressing, garden tours, and activities for kids.
Looking Ahead: Produce for the People
The Corvallis garden is running strong as Produce for the People. This community garden is run by a group of volunteers, and hosts weekly work parties and monthly service learning events for large groups. The focus of the garden is to provide organic, local produce to low-income people and education and engagement opportunities to youth and adults. Produce for the People has expanded to 12,500 sq. ft. and now includes a large green house. In 2014 the garden provided over 3,000 lbs of produce to local low-income community members and volunteers.
With the research component completed, committed volunteers are shaping a vision for garden space and nutritional resources for the community. This vision includes:
- A group of volunteers who collaboratively manage the space and harvest produce for personal use
- A “co-learning” garden where people of all ages share knowledge about gardening
- A strong low-income emphasis: recruiting low-income individuals to work in the garden in exchange for produce, and donating excess produce to community organizations
- Nutritious food cooked in our outdoor kitchen and pizza oven
- Engaging in the surrounding community by attending and hosting events and offering service learning opportunities
All are welcome at work parties and garden planning meetings. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for the schedule or or visit our Facebook Page. We are located at 4000 SW Western Blvd in Corvallis, OR.
“When I started the garden [project] I was overweight and I was injured and I was in a rough time in my life. And [now] I’m definitely a lot healthier and happier and the garden’s a really big part of that.” – Michael, 2011-2012 Corvallis youth gardener
“I really enjoyed the meetings and getting to know each other.” – Lorena, 2011-2012 Corvallis youth gardener