On a sunny and warm Friday morning in a field at Oscar’s Park just west of Billings, Sharon Wetsch looked over seven pallets loaded with pots of ready-to-plant vegetables and herbs.
“That kale there, that’s ready to pick,” she said, pointing to bunches of bright green leaves poking up through the soil. “It could go right now. See the parsley? That’s probably just about ready, too.”
Once they’re planted and harvested, the fresh goodies will help feed Billings’ hungry.
They were donated by Village Gardens to the Billings Food Bank’s garden. The project at Oscar’s Park produces fresh produce to help feed Billings’ hungry.
The garden is run by the food bank on 6.5 acres that Oscar’s Park, 3670 Wise Lane, designated for its use. The garden relies heavily on the help of volunteers and donations, such as the one from Village Gardens.
“People are pretty happy with it because with the number of people that we serve, we need larger quantities of things,” said Sheryle Shandy, chief executive officer of the food bank, which helps to feed about 5,000 Billings families each month. “This has been really nice because we have enough for the people that we serve.”
The garden first started about four years ago after Oscar’s Park owner Marcie Cooke Limpp, who also sits on the Billings Food Bank Board of Directors, told Shandy she’d be happy to allow the food bank to farm on some of the land at the park.
That first year produced about 1,000 pounds of food at the garden. Year two was a bust due flooding and an oil spill on the Yellowstone River, which