Garden, Learn, Give, Enjoy (at the Garden of Eat’in)
Chris Dobbins-Guill, the founder of the Garden of Eat’in says, “My primary purpose was to provide fresh fruits and vegetables for our local Kenneth Butler Memorial Soup Kitchen while improving the quality and nutrition of food prepared at the soup kitchen.” However, Mrs. Dobbins-Guill will tell you it has been more about growing people than produce.
She started with ½ acres of land and her own labor. Now the Garden covers one acre, and she has the help of many volunteers who share her interest in gardening and her passion for improving the quality of life for individuals in their community. She has also expanded her benevolence to the Hancock County, Fortville and McCordsville Food Pantries.
Chris has recruited several employer groups, community churches, organizations and individuals to assist in the work of the garden, and has found volunteers to assist with food preservation workshops. The volunteers work in the garden, learn about raising and preserving food, receive satisfaction from helping others, and definitely, as seen in the website pictures, enjoy themselves. Over the last four years Chris and her helpers have donated over 17,000 pounds of produce to the soup kitchen and food pantries. Hard work for a good cause brings new knowledge and much satisfaction.
In addition to more than 20 regular volunteers, several companies send teams of employees for team building or orientation sessions. Elanco’s, 4th largest animal science business in the world, global headquarters is only 4 miles from the garden. And their community outreach mission is to support food insecurity organizations. Elanco is so committed to the garden they send all new employees to volunteer at the garden as a part of their orientation. Chris has had the pleasure of meeting volunteers from all over the globe.
Does your community need a place like this? It probably does. Maybe you are the one to make it happen. Visit the Garden of Eatin website to learn more and then visit Chris at the Garden, or give her a call. She will be happy to answer your questions and help you get started.
Garden of Eatin
268 E 600 N
Fortville, IN 46040
Submitted by Dick Sprague