Ottumwa community garden grows veggies and friendships

A new community garden in Ottumwa is not only providing vegetables for the community, but new friendships as well.

The United Way of Wapello County has had a garden on the north side of Ottumwa, but this year started one on 605 Ellis Street. All of the plots are full with local gardenerâ??s plants. Some of it is for personal use for those who canâ??t have gardens at their own residences, but some goes back to local food banks.

Jennifer Daugherty from the United Way says those who work in the garden have gotten to know each other well.

"Families who are growing produce here in the garden are able to take it home, they're able to eat healthier and save money on their food budget and through that they're getting to learn a little bit about gardening, they're trying new things here in the garden, vegetables, and it's been a great learning process and a great way to address nutrition and healthy eating," Daugherty said.

She says there is a lot of interest in the garden for next year. The garden on the north side of Ottumwa has raised over 300 pounds of produce for local food banks so far this year.