Tempe Garden Grows Holistic Food For The Community

August 17, 2014

(Photo courtesy of Harvest For Humanity)
(Photo courtesy of Harvest For Humanity)

Community gardening has been popular for years. Neighbors get together to grow their own fruits and vegetables. Tempe’s Harvest for Humanity has been growing vegetables for the past 20 years, with a different goal in mind.

Harvest for Humanity was founded in 1991 by Homer Piatt after finding inspiration during a backpacking trip in Montana. While hiking, he claims to have heard the mountains telling him to “do something for humanity.”

Piatt began gardening in South Phoenix and then moved to a two-acre plot in South Tempe. This is where Harvest for Humanity has been growing their crops for more than 20 years.

After Piatt’s retirement in 2009, Denise Phillips took over as executive director and has been running the garden ever since.

Harvest for Humanity grows organic and nutrient-dense food through sustainable methods and donates it around the valley.

“In the past it’s gone to food banks and shelters, and now we focus on people that are battling cancer and [are] trying to do it from a more holistic means," Phillips said.

Harvest works with community partners and local companies, who provide volunteers for Saturday morning gardenings. They will begin planting for the fall season in a couple of weeks and plan on holding gardening classes, as well as selling seeds and plant starts to people interested in growing their own food.

Updated 8/18/2014 at 2:53 p.m.