A harvest of diversity

Tuesday, September 19, 2000

Garden idea grows out of a desire to bring cultures together, results feed SL community understanding.

Ever since they started harvesting their crops from the Storm Lake Diversity Garden, Raymundo Villareal and his family have been popular with their friends.

"They know I have plants here," he said. "They're like, 'Hey, Raymundo.'"

It seems that none of the families with plots at the Diversity Garden are having trouble finding people interested in the fruits of their labors, including many that are seeing local soil for the first time - magnifico peppers, tabasco chile peppers or red habanero peppers.

The gardens also include various varieties of tomatoes, tomatillo, sweet corn, squash, potatoes, onions, cucumbers, cabbage, several varieties of watermelon and a selection of herbs.

On Thursday officials from the state office of the National Resource and Conservation Service were in Storm Lake to tour the gardens and to get reaction from the Storm Lake families growing on them.

Astor Boozer, from the Sioux City NRCS office, said they wanted to meet the families and to get the positives and negatives on the garden.

After all, the project is harvesting not just multicultural benefits, but proof that a wide variety of ethnic specialty crops can be successfully grown in northwest Iowa.

Read the rest of this article in the 9/16 Pilot Tribune.

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