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

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