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Polk County Master Gardeners

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in Polk County

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Food Pantry

Food Pantry | Demonstration Garden

Demonstration Garden raises crops which we donate to local food panties. In 2020, 1977 lbs. of food crop was donated to local pantries.

The Food Pantry Vegetable Garden raises crops which are delivered to area food pantries. The garden works primarily with the Urbandale Food Pantry. However, they also make donations to other area agencies when a specific crop is in excess abundance. In 2020 Demonstration garden donated 1162.5 lbs. of vegetables to local food pantries. The orchards produced 814.9 lbs. of fruit.

Learn from Demonstration Garden orchards and vegetable garden

The vegetable garden is a 20′ x 24′ space which includes several varieties of tomatoes and peppers, green beans, cucumbers, radishes, Swiss chard, cabbage, broccoli, basil and cilantro. Our Master Gardners plant several cool-weather crops early in the season and then plant another round for a fall harvest. Weed population is kept under control and soil moisture is conserved with a layer of inexpensive straw.

Raised Vegetable Garden Beds

The Raised Vegetable Garden demonstrates plant varieties that the average gardener can grow, many of them All-America Selections (AAS) winners from recent years. Therefore, visit often throughout the year . You will witness examples of good gardening practices such as companion planting and three-year crop rotation. Cover crops are often planted in the fall.

A drip irrigation system provides an effective way to water, and the crushed rock pathways allow weather-proof access to the beds and help reduce weeds.  The layout of the raised beds creates an attractive design that adds to the appeal of the Vegetable Garden. Vertical gardening is made possible with trellises which supporting pole beans, cucumbers and squash. The attractive picket fence with discreetly attached, rabbit-proof wire fencing reduces small animal damage.

In addition to the fenced area, a perennial vegetable & fruit garden is located just east of the Food Pantry garden. This garden includes asparagus, horseradish, rhubarb, strawberries & grapes. Squash and melon plants have been added to the open spaces where they can wander as they’d like.

The orchards, in addition, produce apples and we also maintain raspberries and blueberry patches.

Contact Us
Office: 515-957-5768

ISU Extension and Outreach, Polk County:
1625 Adventureland Dr.
Suite A | Altoona, IA 50009

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