Ben Drake started something new this year at the DeKalb County Corn & Soybean Plots.
He planted sweet corn, provided by Beck’s Seeds, and sold it with the intention of donating the proceeds from the sales to a local food bank.
During July and August he sold 4,250 ears of sweet corn and collected $1,100. He turned the money over to the DeKalb County Corn & Soybean Growers, who donated it to the DeKalb County Community Gardens.
Drake presented the check to Dan Kenney, coordinator of the gardens, at Brooks Elementary School in DeKalb, where some of the gardens are located.
The DeKalb County Community Gardens has gardens at several DeKalb elementary schools and in neighborhoods throughout the community. Food grown in the gardens is donated to local food pantries. The nonprofit organization is dedicated to supporting and initiating community gardening opportunities countywide.
Community gardens also provide opportunities to learn about food production, develop job skills, increase agriculture literacy, generate food-related businesses, create links to area centers which provide food for families and ease hunger.
The gardens got started in the spring producing vegetables, herbs and flowers, Kenney said. Partnerships were formed with the Kishwaukee Health System and Kishwaukee Family YMCA as part of a Pioneering Healthier Communities Initiative. Currently, there are about 90 garden plots throughout the county. Kenney expects this number to grow.