Garden of Eatin’: A new spin on community gardens

The new headquarters for Garden of Eatin’. There is still lots of work to be done before the office is operational.

UW-Parkside alum runs community garden dedicated to donating food to local shelters and pantries.

Austin Krieger |     

Garden of Eatin’ is a community garden based in Kenosha dedicated to providing fresh fruits and vegetables for pantries and shelters in the area. Garden of Eatin’ (GOE) was founded by veteran and UW-Parkside alumnus Andy Berg. While attending a sports nutrition and fitness class with Professor Stefani Strauss-Thompkins, Berg was required to work 5-10 hours of volunteer work within the community, but was unable to make the time while having two children, working full time, and studying as a full time student. In place of the volunteer hours Berg was able to propose a written plan for a community garden in Kenosha but with “a bit of twist.”

Support from community

The fundamental difference between GOE and other community gardens is that everything used to raise the crops and everything harvested is donated by and to the local community. Berg explains that everything from “seeds, trowels, shovels, gloves, and labor” are all volunteers and donations. GOE receives many of its volunteers throughout the year from United Way and during annual events such as “Make a Difference Day” at UW-Parkside. Berg is happy with the help that he receives, but is always searching for more volunteers, especially during the summer when volunteer numbers are lower.

Plans for the future

Berg and GOE recently purchased a small home on 38th avenue in Kenosha to serve as an office and give volunteers and board members a place to perform their duties during the winter months.Berg is searching for any help concerning the renovations at the new office, which includes siding, replacing windows, and general carpentry. Completing the office renovations will give GOE more space to operate in the months they are not planting or working with the gardens.

GOE will also be hosting an event related to UW-Parkside’s Big Read. Professor Peggy James will be speaking at GOE’s new office of the Big Read’s book “Station Eleven.” The office is located on 4605 38th avenue, Kenosha and the event will be open to UW-Parkside students and local community members.

From the classroom to the garden

Despite the great strides GOE has made since it conception, there is always more work to be done and more plants to be grown. Berg and his fellow members of GOE are continuously looking to do more in the community and grow their organization. What started out as an assignment for a class has turned into a project that offers relief and joy felt by both those receiving the food from the gardens and those growing it.

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