BOISE, Idaho — You need a washing machine to clean your clothes, but what about for washing your vegetables?
Global Gardens in Boise has been helping refugees, but with land being hard to access – it’s been a challenge. The Boise-based non-profit made multiple improvements at their location on S. Pond Street in order to get more produce out across the valley.
“We repurposed hot tub blowers to activate bubblers in these bins that kind of agitates the greens very gently and as it’s doing that all of the dirt falls off to the bottom,” farm manager Ben Brock said. “Then after that, they go into this washing machine that’s been repurposed by a Boise State engineering student and he added a timer so that we can spin the lettuce dry.”
A big improvement from a small, typical salad spinner and a more efficient way to dry produce and keep things moving while the struggle to find land continues.
“As we’ve been bringing in new farmers, new refugees and there’s been an increasing demand for land at the same while land is becoming increasingly difficult to access. So a focus on getting more out of the land we do have was a real priority” Brock said.
After being washed, cleaned and packaged produce goes into a brand new cooler so it stays fresh for delivery to farmer’s markets hospitals or restaurants.
All of this is made possible by help from local donors like the Robert and Judith Sturgis Foundation, the City of Boise and more.
“We’ve made huge strides with this facility. Ultimately we're hoping it's going to translate into a much more profitable endeavor for our refugee farmers who are really the goal of why we're doing this,” Brock said.
Global Gardens farmers are still welcoming newCSA sign-ups for the season, so the community can still get fresh, weekly produce from local refugee farmers.