Cooperative spirit

Learning to put homegrown food on the table

Group of volunteers assembling garden kits

Volunteers assembled thousands of packets of seed and fertilizer into garden kits to be distributed to students and their families in Moses Lakes, Wash. Included in those kits were 7,500 pounds of fertilizer donated by CHS SunBasin Growers.

May 13, 2020

With schools closed across the country, many school districts continue to provide free meals for students. In Moses Lake, Wash., students are turning mealtime into an at-home ag education experience with the help of local farmers and seed and fertilizer companies, including CHS SunBasin Growers.

On May 2, more than 100 volunteers assembled thousands of packets of vegetable seeds and fertilizer into garden kits to be distributed for free to students and their families. Volunteers practiced health safety precautions by wearing gloves and face masks.

“Each spring, I spend a lot of time on a tractor as we prepare our ground and plant our crops,” says farmer and Moses Lake School Board President Elliott Goodrich, who came up with the idea and organized the event in less than one week. “These hours give me lots of time to think, specifically about how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all of us. One thing that has become abundantly clear to me: There is a huge need in this community for food.”

Bags of seeds and potatoes
Seeds for the garden kits were donated by local seed and fertilizer companies.

The garden kits contained various vegetable seeds, including peas, beans, broccoli, carrots, corn and potatoes, along with five pounds of fertilizer and instructions. Seed donations were gathered from local seed and fertilizer companies. CHS SunBasin Growers, a CHS Country Operations ag retail unit managed out of Quincy, Wash., donated 7,500 pounds of fertilizer for the kits.

Goodrich does business with CHS SunBasin Growers and reached out to Roland Wynhoff, agronomy sales representative, about the idea. Wynhoff thought it was a great way to show the CHS purpose in action while helping the community.

“Creating connections to empower agriculture is what we stand for and what we do,” Wynhoff says. “This project is a great way to put that purpose to work in our communities and it is educational. Many people in Moses Lake don’t understand where their food comes from. With these garden kits, families can get outside, plant the seeds and watch food production happen in their own backyards.”