Organizers of a new community garden hope to help area community members by providing locally grown vegetables.
The P.W. Stoelting Garden came to light when Vice President of Operations Mike Scharinger asked two members of his operations team to come up with an idea for a team-building event that would also serve the community.  The result is a community garden where vegetables grown will be donated back to the local community.




Volunteer driven
The garden has evolved into a project where each person volunteering their time has offered up ideas such as planting in straw bales instead of soil. The ideas continue to evolve and grow the garden.
“About 16 people, mostly from the Operations Department have supported this project,” Human Resources Mananger Fallon Phillip said. “They’ve either helped with the design, purchasing, and/or planting. This same group will help with the harvesting and food distribution as well.”
 The relationships fostered between co-workers and the local business partners still continues to strengthen through the various stages of garden planning.  Millhome Nursery & Greenhouse, Lulloff True Value Hardware, Country Visions Cooperative, Schmidt’s Landscaping, and Ferguson have supported the garden with generous donations.  
The Kiel Fire Department has been making life easier by clearing space and watering the bales and the people at Nourish Farms have offered their knowledge as support on this venture.  
Members of the operations management teams along with their families volunteered their time on May 14 and June 3 to plant seeds, plants, and put up a fence.

Two sections of planting
“The garden is located behind P.W. Stoelting and consists of two sections,” Phillip explained. “The fenced in portion of the garden is approximately 60 x 60 feet with an unfenced garden area bordering half of the lot. The main section of the garden is made up of nine double rows of straw bales.  Planted in these rows are cucumbers, lettuce, cabbage, radishes, beets, beans, potatoes, and carrots just to name a few.”
“The unfenced in area has various types of melons, squash, zucchini, and pumpkins growing in it,” she added.
In spite of this being the first year, the people behind this project hope to make even a small impact on the community.

Harvest will begin soon  
“We’ll be able to start harvesting soon,” Phillip said. “As the produce becomes available, our donations will be distributed back into the community through pick up dates and drop offs at specific locations.
The Kiel Community Center will also be used as a central distribution point for the area’s senior citizen community.  Our hope is that we are able to give as many people as possible the availability of fresh vegetables.”  
“We couldn’t have done this without the help and support of our local businesses,” Phillip said. “By partnering together, we’re all involved in something bigger than ourselves.”  
For more information on the garden, please contact Phillip by calling (920) 483-0269 or by email at fallon.phillip@stoelting.com. ?David Schmidt can also assist with information and can be reached at (920)629-4273 or david.schmidt@stoelting.com.

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