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Making a Difference: Knoxville Botanical Garden gives back

The Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum used its resources to share the beauty of nature and grow food for neighbors in need.
Published: Oct. 12, 2020 at 7:04 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum used its resources to share the beauty of nature and grow food for neighbors in need.

“We’ve got our fall crops coming up. We’ve got peas. We’ve got carrots," said Jake Resor, the Manager for Center for Urban Agriculture at Knoxville Botanical Garden.

The raised beds were used to show grains to students who learned on field trips at the botanical garden.

“We had the space, we knew we had the time, and like I said we got that award from the US Botanic Garden so we’re able to do what we can,” explained Resor.

This year Resor said the beds transformed into growing produce. The goal was to help feed those in need, and the timing with food shortages on some tables because of the pandemic, could not have been better.

His team got to work using money they won from a national award, and some more from donations.

“I feel really good being able to provide, fresh fruit, fresh food, vegetables, eggs and so on and so forth who live in my community," said David Israel, the groundskeeper at the Garden.

It also takes a couple dozen volunteers to tend to all the carrots, broccoli, kale, potatoes, figs and many other fruits and veggies.

"I know we’re not feeding everybody in town or anything like that, but it’s awesome to be able to do what we can.”

They’ve grown about 500 pounds of food equating to about $1,500.

“It feels good. It’s nice to be able to come to work every day and that’s what you’re doing," said Resor.

The fresh food is taken to food pantries regularly. One of them is East Knoxville Hospitality Pantry.

“It helps a lot of families," said Michael Green, a coordinator with East Knoxville Hospitality Pantry.

So far more than 300 families have benefitted from the produce. Their longterm goal was to keep the garden going to create a sustainable impact.

Copyright 2020 WVLT. All rights reserved.

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