Tree Planting and Harvest Celebration in Honor of Food Day
Des Moines, Iowa - (October 15, 2012) – Trees Forever and the Iowa Food Systems Council will be celebrating Food Day on October 20th from 9:00am to 12:00pm at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church’s Faith and Grace garden. The celebration will include the planting of 16 fruit and nut trees, tours of the 35,000 square foot garden, and a look back at the productive summer harvest. The event will take place at 1020 24th Street in West Des Moines. Attendees are encouraged to bring a donation of fruit juice or other food items in support of area food pantries.
Food Day is a nationwide celebration and movement toward more healthy, affordable, and sustainable food, culminating in a day of action on October 24 every year. Food Day is a chance to celebrate what our food system does right, and to take specific action to bring us closer to a food system with “real food” that is produced with care for the environment, animals, and the women and men who grow, harvest, and serve it.
At the Faith and Grace Garden in West Des Moines, all food that is grown is donated to help feed hungry, local people in need of healthy food. So far this year, over 11,000 pounds of fresh vegetables were donated to Des Moines-area food pantries and food distribution sites.
Trees Forever is excited to take part in the event and to showcase the importance of fruit and nut trees in an urban setting. So far this year, Trees Forever has planted nearly 40 fruit trees throughout the metro-area. In conjunction with the plantings, Trees Forever is also launching a new program called Fruit TreeKeepers. The volunteer training program is designed for people who want to become more knowledgeable about urban fruit and nut tree planting and care, and who wish to become more involved with local, healthy, and sustainable food sources.
Trees Forever program manager Leslie Berckes states, “Locally grown, nutritional food is very important to our community. When people are more engaged in their local food system, they know where their food comes from and eat healthier and more sustainable foods. Trees Forever has been actively planting fruit trees in the Metro area, and now we’re looking forward to helping people care for the trees and produce an abundant, high-quality crop.”
The Iowa Food Systems Council is thrilled to be involved in the Food Day celebration. The Council, established in 2010, builds bridges between key stakeholders to champion resilient and healthy Iowans, communities, economies and environments.
According to Angie Tagtow, co-founder of the Iowa Food Systems Council, “Food Day is an ideal time to discuss the complexities and interconnectedness of our food system. This celebration will serve as a hands-on learning experience to cultivate a better understanding of these issues. We hope this event becomes an annual tradition in communities across Iowa.”
Funding and support for the celebration and Trees Forever’s Fruit TreeKeepers program is provided by the Alliance for Community Trees, USDA People’s Garden, J.C. “Buz” and Sue Brenton, Whole Foods Market, and Trees Forever members.
To participate in the tree planting and harvest celebration, or for more information, please contact Trees Forever’s Leslie Berckes at 515-681-2295 or email LBerckes@treesforever.org. Additional information on this and other Trees Forever programs can be found at www.treesforever.org.