Seed to Feed program in Elkhart is growing

Seed to Feed Program // WSBT 22

Families in need are getting fresh produce, thanks to a program developed by Church Community Services in Elkhart.

Late last Fall it built a greenhouse to get an early start on growing produce.

The new greenhouse is playing a big role in the Seed to Feed Program.

The 32 by 96 ft structure, known as a high tunnel, is already alive with activity aimed at growing crops for those in need.

Staffers have been keeping vegetable seedlings, or starts, inside to grow.

“It provides an opportunity to get out of the weather, it can be warmer inside the high tunnel than outside, the ground is warmer,” said staff member, Sean Murphy. “It extends your season for growing. We can provide more produce for a longer period of time.”

Right now, they're being taken to several of the 13 community gardens to grow outside. Produce in turn goes to local food pantries.

“Getting the plants started early so they're strong and vigorous, growing, and when we transplant them the crops just take off and that's what we want,” said volunteer, Jim Weldy.

The program is staffed by hundreds of volunteers around the area. They will put in the time and effort to make it work and are ready to take the program to the next level.

The next step is to plant the seedlings inside the greenhouse later this year.

"So this Fall, we intend to have it completely operational plants in the ground, as well as seedlings started on the tables, so hopefully, you come back this Fall and this whole greenhouse will be full of great produce,” said Murphy.

“This greenhouse is going to be a life saver for us,” Weldy said.

Several of the seedlings used are being donated by individuals and companies in the area.

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