Volunteer work party at the Big Horn Drive garden —

One of the best things about volunteering at our Heart of Missouri Gardens plot is the sense of community that’s created. Volunteers range in age from six to eighty-six. As a volunteer you’ll see the joy on children’s faces as they pick vegetables or hear the thanks of seniors who enjoy the fresh produce at the nutrition centers. You’ll surely enjoy the feeling of being part of an ambitious, community service project. Working together we’re creating local solutions to critical issues of food insecurity, poor nutrition, fossil energy excesses, environmental pollution, and economic development.

Find out how you can help as an individual or through your business, family, scout, or church group by calling 573-556-8660 or emailing at neeed2013@embarqmail.com.

If you would like to help with the Project but are unable to help at the garden, there are many other ways to be involved! We also need artists, writers, photographers, computer techs, speakers, etc. No matter what your experience or skills may be you can be sure you’ll play an important role in the NEEED Project.  Welcome! 

Want to learn more about our mission? Watch our video.

A informal “NIBS” meeting occurs each Wednesday at 07:30 at the Downtown Diner.

Sweet Potato Harvest

Thank you everyone including IServe Global for volunteering to harvest sweet potatoes! Giving organic vegetables to local food pantries is so rewarding!

sweet potato harvest

June 29, 2015: Thank you Second Christian Church for all of your volunteer help!

Please take a moment to click on the Facebook link post and look through the wonderful pictures of the amazing volunteers from The Second Christian Church that came to 1009 Big Horn Drive on Monday June 29, 2015 to help in the community garden.  It is so appreciated.  We look forward to the possibility of a youth group from the church being an active participant in the garden.


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A big thank you goes to Second Christian Church with  helping in the Community Garden

Posted by Heart of Missouri Gardens on Wednesday, July 8, 2015

2015 Membership Meeting Results

A brief outline of the meeting:

  1. A decision was reached to elect a “temporary slate” of Officers and Board Members to serve until the regular membership meeting in October, 2015. The following slate is the result of that decision:
  •  Chair                                    Jack Ryan
  • Vice Chair                             Mike Oney
  • Secretary                              Clint Pinkley
  • Treasurer                              Helen Richardson           
  • Board Member                    Shubha Miller
  • Board member                     Kelley Barnard
  • Board Member                     Bob Boldt\

2. The following verbiage was approved as the mission statement or goals of the NEEED Project:

 “The NEEED Project will mitigate social, environmental and economic development problems in mid-Missouri  through a vigorous pursuit and application of mutually supportive, cutting edge technologies and with its success, set an example for application elsewhere”

 A logo fashioned after the well-known image of a single plant growing from a small pile of soil obviously enriched with biochar will be developed under supervision of Dr. Raymond Bayan and will be available for use within a matter of days and will become the official logo of the NEEED Project.

2015 Garden Preparation

NIBS (N.E.E.E.D. Informal Brainstorming Session) occurs Wednesday mornings, 7:30am at the Downtown Diner located at 127 East High Street.  There is lots to consider as we approach the 2015 growing season and The Spring Membership Meeting.

Much appreciation on Sunday April 26, 2015 for many volunteers that came out to prepare the community garden for the 2015 Season.

2015 garden2015 garden is ready for plants

2015-Composting Garden

Thanks to Bluebird Composting LLC for bringing out the organic compost to prepare the garden for this year’s gardening.  A thank you also goes to Mike Oney and Clint Pinkley for taking the time and work to spread the compost.

A Slightly Different Image?

Those of us involved with the NEEED Project may have become so enthralled with the response to the fresh, wholesome vegetables produced in the Heart of Missouri Garden in 2014 and delivered to Senior Nutrition Centers and food pantries that we’ve forgotten the other co-equal components of the NEEED Project. That’s easy to understand. The response – appreciation – of the recipients was truly overwhelming and the dedicated, hard-working members of the NEEED Project who grew and delivered those veggies deserve nothing but our highest praise.

However, as a founder of the Project, I’m compelled to remember and urge others to remember that growing fresh, wholesome vegetables for donation to those facing food insecurity is just one of four co-equal objectives of the whole NEEED Project.

Indeed, a Heart of Missouri Garden plot is much more than just a place to grow veggies for donation for those in need. It’s also a place where new technologies are tested, combined, perfected and publically demonstrated and a place where volunteers learn to apply those technologies. That is to say, a Heart of Missouri Garden is, at the same time, a laboratory, a test bed and training site.

Yes – that’s a slightly different image from the one we’ve tended to project in the past but it should not detract in any way from the image of a veggie garden simply growing produce for the needy. It should, in fact, enhance that humanitarian image.

Jack Ryan

You are invited to the annual meeting on Tuesday, September 23


Everyone is invited to The N.E.E.E.D. Project’s annual meeting on Tuesday, September 23, 6:30 pm at the Coca Cola Community Room, 605 Washington, Jefferson City, MO.

Mark your calendars now and watch for more news about the program. You’ll want to be there to

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see reports of our impressive progress so far and exciting news about future plans!


Bringing the rest of our mission to life

Synergy of four mutually supportive objectives has been the centerpiece of the NEEED Project from its inception. It’s in the name. It’s in the founding documents. (Articles of Incorporation, bylaws, filings with the IRS and promotional materials) Nutrition, Energy, Environment and Economic Development are its goals. 

Early on, a strategy was adopted whereby “a different kind of community garden” would be the first of those four objectives to be pursued because of its “humanitarian” impact, its visibility and potential for local support. The name, “Heart of Missouri Gardens” was adopted, officially registered as a component of the NEEED Project and presented to the public. That choice has been an obvious success.

Now it’s time to remember those three remaining synergistic components of the NEEED Project and take the first steps toward bringing them to life. Those steps are: #1) choose names for each component; #2) officially register those names with the Missouri Secretary of State and #3) present them to the public explaining how they relate to one another and the whole NEEED Project.

Consider the following: Do some creative thinking; Join the process. Suggest a name.

Energy – by integrating application of emerging technologies we can demonstrate efficacy of converting waste organic matter into usable energy that supports operation of the community gardens. In doing so, overall energy expense may be reduced and may enable year-round vegetable production. Widespread application would further reduce need for fossil fuels, imported or domestic.

Environment - Typically, seventy-five percent of material going into landfills is organic in nature and can be converted directly into a very useful soil amendment or converted into energy used to convert waste organic matter from other sources into that soil amendment. That is to say, much of the waste we now pay to dispose of can be turned into useful products – the basis for the “ultimate recycling program”!

Economic Development – Mid-Missouri has an excellent mix of urban and rural environments that provide all resources needed to develop, perfect demonstrate, utilize and market products made possible by emerging bio-technologies. There is the added advantage of having a charitable and educational community garden where those technologies can be tested and demonstrated and, most importantly, we have in our midst a public university where related research is underway.

A growing interest in a food production and distribution system more attentive to quality and nutritional value creates a huge economic development opportunity for innovative programs responsive to that interest. That simmering interest can almost be labeled “explosive “and it’s currently focused on promoting local, organic production of vegetables. The economic development potential can be realized in growing or generating and marketing products of organic origin, designing, fabricating and marketing associated equipment, informing the public how to utilize related products and services and training people to perform those tasks.

Please review ideas outlined above and suggest an appropriate name for each. As with HOMG, the name selected may have a significant impact on future development and play an important role, once we initiate serious fund raising efforts. Let your brain run wild – suggest a name(s).

Off the cuff examples are:

Energy – Green Energy Solutions

Environment – FreshEnviroTech

Economic Development – MOTECH Progress

(I’m sure you all can do better! Please try)

In a few days I’ll appoint a small, temporary committee to select names to be adopted, subject to approval of the Secretary of State. Participation on that committee will involve no more than two and most likely just one brief meeting. Along with your submission of names, let me know if you’d like to sit on that committee.

Best wishes to all,

Jack Ryan


The NEEED Project


Growing food and community at the Heart of Missouri Gardens

Volunteer work party at the Big Horn Drive garden

Volunteer work party at the Big Horn Drive garden

One of the best things about volunteering at our Heart of Missouri Gardens plot is the sense of community that is being created. Our volunteers range from age six to seniors. As a volunteer you can experience seeing the joy on children’s faces as they pick vegetables. Or hearing the thanks of the seniors who are enjoying the fresh produce at the nutrition centers. You can enjoy the hopeful feeling of being part of the start of an ambitious project Working together we are creating local solutions to critical issues of food insecurity, poor nutrition, energy, the environment, and economic development.

Find out how you can help as an individual or through your business, family, scout, or church group by calling us at 573-556-8660 or emailing at neeed2013@embarqmail.com.

If you would like to help with our mission but are unable to help at the garden, there are many other ways to be involved! We also need artists,

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writers, photographers, computer techs, speakers, etc. We also need your financial support for purchasing equipment and supplies. You can make a secure donation online here: Donate. All amounts, not matter how small, are greatly appreciated!

Want to learn more about our mission? Watch our video.

Everyone is invited to our Community Service Project Launch

Monday, June 23, 5:30 PM, 1009 Big Horn Drive, Jefferson City, MO.

We are very grateful to the Jefferson City Medical Group volunteers who are caring for our tomato sub-plot for this growing season.

We are very grateful to the Jefferson City Medical Group volunteers who are caring for our tomato sub-plot for this growing season.


Join us as we welcome volunteers from the Jefferson City Medical Group (JCMG) as our first community group to adopt a section of our garden! Learn some gardening tips and see the progress we have made!

Responding to an open invitation from the Heart of Missouri Gardens to individuals and groups to join in caring for sub-plots of our garden, a group from JCMG has volunteered to care for our tomatoes for this season. Like all produce from the garden, tomatoes produced will be donated to senior nutrition centers and other similar outlets.

The public is invited to attend the official launch of this cooperative program at an event in the garden at 1009 Big Horn Drive at 5:30 PM,

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Monday, June 23. Master Gardener Don Schneiders will be on hand to give tips on caring for tomatoes. And Dr. Bayan from Lincoln University will be available to answer questions about the biochar test plot within the garden.

The Heart of Missouri Gardens is a charitable and educational organization of volunteers that grow vegetables for donation to those in need. The garden, started this spring, is beginning to produce vegetables that are delivered to the Senior Nutrition Centers.

We invite individuals and groups to join this community service opportunity and assume the care of a sub-plot in the half-acre garden.