In Gering, Nebraska (pop.8000 ) over the Oregon Trail Park, right next to the high school football field lies the Ever Green House. A project of Community Action Partnership of Western Nebraska, the Ever Green House is a family and community development center featuring a community garden, a greenhouse, and a farmer’s market. With a mission of building community through gardening, horticultural education, community beautification and environmental stewardship, the mission encompasses many of the goals that the USDA is promoting.
The property was originally used by the local high school until it fell into disrepair. A dedicated group of volunteers and gardeners wanted to strengthen their community by building a place where families could come together. Echoing the themes of President Obama’s United We Serve initiative, the Ever Green House now serves as a beautiful garden sanctuary and the volunteers are active at beautification efforts in the town of Gering.
Projects like the Ever Green House are vital to our rural America, because they bring people together under the common goal of making their communities stronger, better places to live. In recognition of that hard work and vital role in the community, the Ever Green House will receive Recovery Act funding to replace the roof on their building so that residents can garden and cultivate new relationships and ideas year round.
What started as a small project has expanded with the Ever Green House now operating a weekly farmer’s market. With 7-18 vendors per week all local to the Gering area, Ever Green House is a working example of the USDA’s Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative. This farmer’s market gives locals access to healthy fruits, vegetable, and other from the farm goods and provides the local producers with a new market and income opportunity.
What an honor to tour the Ever Green House. Clearly the seeds of change and renewal are growing in the town of Gering, Nebraska.