West Central Missouri Community Action Agency, an organization with a 50-year history of providing emergency services to economically challenged households in West Central Missouri, announced last week the groundbreaking of a new initiative and endeavor for the organization — a community farm. Utilizing ground owned by the agency, West Central broke ground Thursday, Sept. 24 on what will become the “West Central Community Farm” in Spring 2016.
West Central serves many families who experience what is known as “food insecurity” every day. Food insecurity is on the rise and is something many families in rural areas endure, due to economic conditions of their communities or their own households.
Looking for new opportunities to continue to serve, West Central will utilize Appleton City’s rural setting by turning the challenge into an opportunity that creates a much-needed service and benefit for the families in Appleton City.
“With so much arable land available, a solution was needed for this important issue,” Chris Thompson, president and CEO of West Central, said of the new endeavor. “The most logical step to making an impact is to grow food. This is the idea behind the West Central Community Farm. The mission is to be a catalyst for positive change in our local food system by providing hands-on opportunities for the community to grow food while demonstrating organic growing techniques. It is the first step of many that West Central is taking to address food issues in the community.”
Katie Nixon, West Central’s Food Service Specialist, is working with local farmers to accomplish the farming goals within the community.
“With the help of local community members Keith and Anita Gilmore and DeWane and Johanna Rice, lending their tractors to the cause, we were able to break ground last week,” Nixon said. “A cover crop of cereal rye and hairy vetch has been seeded on the 1/4 acre site, to help suppress the regrowth of grass in the Spring and to build healthy soil. This cover crop will be terminated in the Spring using organic methods and prepared for a Spring planting of fruits and vegetables.”
The site is located in Appleton City next to both West Central’s Head Start location and West Central’s Appleton Estates. Community involvement is encouraged and needed to sustain a larger impact on the small, rural community. If community members and organizations are interested in participating in the West Central Farm project, contact Katie Nixon at 660-476-2185.
Release courtesy of West Central Missouri Community Action Agency.