Positively the Heartland: Organization grows free organic produce for the community

Posted at 10:32 AM, Jul 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-07 15:12:01-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — A grassroots organization in Omaha is growing free, fresh, organic produce for the community.

During the pandemic, the number of families experiencing food insecurities rose and finding fresh, organic produce is not easy to come by.

"We have seen an increase of folks coming to the free farm stand. That could be an increase in awareness, with the addition of more community partners, but it also could be due to an increased need because of people losing their jobs and maybe not having access ink other ways to free healthy produce that's affordable. Especially organic produce can be expensive, and that's what we really value," said Clare Maakestad with the Free Farm Syndicate.

The Free Farm Syndicate has been in Omaha for about 5 years and recently just received a grant from the Omaha Community Foundation to be able to serve more people.

"Designed to support us in growing more food. We have expanded our production immensely over the course of the past year. Every year actually we've added an additional growing site, and this year we have what you can call a small farm in North Omaha," said Maakestad.

When picking up fresh produce, they often offer fresh flowers grown from the garden as well.

"Right now we have things like, garlic, garlic scapes, turnips, beets, onions, kale, various greens and really soon we will have peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, more greens. We always have greens, eat your greens. We will have potatoes and sweet potatoes as well," said Maakestad.

Giving away produce is also a way to reduce food waste.

"Partners like the big garden, big muddy urban farms, city sprouts among others, provide produce that might otherwise not get used. Then at the crop swap, we also encourage folks to bring produce that might go to waste from their own garden," said Maakestad.

The Free Farm Syndicate takes place on Saturday mornings at Bancroft St Market on S. 10th and Bancroft from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Both are free and open to everyone.

Visit their Facebook page for more information.

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