This week, August 23-29, is National Community Gardening Week, but north county communities have a jump on the idea.
Dee Peseau of the Arlington Garden Club noted that the Arlington Community Garden, at Second Street and Washington Avenue, was built in 2001. It produces food that is donated to the Arlington food bank in addition to produce for the gardeners' homes.
A second community garden in Arlington is being developed on the grounds of the Stillaguamish Senior Center with the help of grant funds from the Snohomish County Master Gardeners.
In Marysville, the Wilcox Community Garden has attracted dozens of pea-patch growers. The Marysville Community Food Bank has benefited from the donation of over 2,000 pounds of fresh produce and fruit this year.
"We're so grateful for the contributions from the pea patch growers, WSU Master Gardeners, M-PHS students and Sunnyside Nursery, and many individuals," said food bank executive director Joyce Zeigen.
"The food bank distributes nearly 2,000 pounds of produce every week to hungry families in Marysville, so more fruit and vegetables are needed to give out," she continued. "If you have extra squash, tomatoes, beans, plums, apples or other fresh produce, please donate it to the food bank."
Aside from produce donated by individuals, food bank clients must choose from grocery store donations of nearly expired items. Much of the fruit and vegetables the food banks receive from local stores is damaged and bruised, and "on its last legs," according to Zeigen.
The food bank also needs volunteers who are willing to glean from local fruit trees when the owners are unable to pick it themselves and don't want the fruit going to waste.
The Marysville Community Food Bank, located at 4150-88th St. NE, accepts donations Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 8 to 11 a.m. and Tuesdays 2 to 6 p.m. For more information, call (360) 658-1054.
To donate fresh produce to the Arlington Community Food Bank, 127 West Cox St., phone (360) 435-1631.