Full Circle Gardens
Working on the Full Circle Gardens project has allowed me to see firsthand why Ozarks Food Harvest is so successful in reaching its goals every year. Food security is integral to the health of our communities. That basic need impacts so many other community issues. Dr. Meera Scarrow, OB/GYN, Mercy Hospital-Springfield & past-president of OFH board
Providing more than just fresh produce
Ozarks Food Harvest’s Full Circle Gardens program helps strengthen the local food system by rescuing fresh produce for those in need, harvesting donors’ fields and gardens and providing education to community members and member agencies.
The Food Bank launched the program in 1999, primarily harvesting a single community garden. Today, The Food Bank collaborates with dozens of local partners to make a collective impact on the community’s food system. Ozarks Food Harvest is able to make a greater impact on hunger and health in southwest Missouri by providing a local source of fresh produce, engaging the community to support and grow the local food system and by providing garden education to our network of partners. The program partners also with 39 produce donors and distributes more than 25,000 seed packets and thousands of plant starts to the community annually.
Pounds harvested by Glean Team last fiscal year
Volunteers harvest produce from the Ozarks Food Harvest Garden in Rogersville and local farms to provide tens of thousands of pounds of food every year.
Sites directly benefitting
Senior centers, a domestic violence shelter and north Springfield neighborhoods benefit from weekly distributions.
Plant A Row donations
Home gardeners and compassionate farmers donate tens of thousands of pounds each year from their crops to support local food pantries and feeding programs.
Our large home garden serves as the “home base” for the Glean Team. The 76 raised beds, two high tunnels and in-ground field patch allow us to grow produce year-round to fight hunger. Volunteers help with all aspects of raising vegetables and help harvest over 11,000 pounds a year at this garden alone.
Ozarks Food Harvest is thankful for Hippocrates Farm for allowing the use of this bountiful space.Become a Volunteer
Ozarks Food Harvest is so grateful for local farmers and gardeners who plant and donate extra fruits and vegetables for hunger relief. Ongoing produce donation supporters include gardens like Second Baptist Church’s Springfield Victory Garden, Millsap Farm, Fassnight Creek Farm and Temple Israel. To learn more about donating extra produce or having volunteers harvest excess for hunger relief, contact The Food Bank’s Full Circle Gardens Manager Alexa Poindexter at (417) 865-3411 ext. 120 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Supporting the growth and development of local food production is an important piece to ensuring that our region has a steady supply of nutritious produce available. We participate in Springfield’s Local Food Collaborative which brings together area stakeholders interested in food system development and increasing healthy food access. We also partner with organizations like Springfield Community Gardens and University of Missouri Extension in their work on education, while partnerships with Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, and Steinert’s Greenhouse and Nursery aid with community supplies.
Our garden space is a hub of learning for many in our area. We love hosting educational experiences for students of all ages and partner regularly with school districts in our region. The Full Circle Gardens program also works with our network of agencies to ensure that communities are equipped with seeds and supplies to support garden education and efforts to grow fresh produce for hunger-relief.
Volunteer with the Glean Team
Dig in the dirt, plant seeds, maintain high tunnels, nurture plants, get exercise, make new friends and harvest produce to provide healthy food to those in need. Apply to become a volunteer!
Be a Farm Partner
Do you have extra produce you would like to be harvested for donation? Do you have extra produce you would like picked up? Contact Cady Goble, our glean coordinator at email@example.com to set up a glean. Let us know what needs to be harvested and the approximate number of rows/plants.
Plant an Extra Row
Have a garden already? Simply plant an extra row and designate its harvest for donation to Ozarks Food Harvest in Springfield at 2810 N. Cedarbrook Ave. Dropoff Monday-Thursday between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., or on Friday between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m.
Fruit Crop Registry
Register your crop
Put your fruit trees and brambles to work fighting hunger right here in southwest Missouri. Ozarks Food Harvest has staff and supervised volunteers available to harvest excess fruit from local properties. These harvests are then distributed to our network of 270 hunger-relief agencies in 28 counties. By sharing your homegrown fruits, you are helping increase access to fresh produce for your communities and providing an incredible gift to neighbors in need. Click here to open the form in a new tab.
Please read before signing up
- We often use the term “gleaning” in place of harvesting. Gleaning is the act of collecting excess fresh foods from farms, gardens, markets or other sources with the goal of providing it to neighbors in need.
- By registering your fruit crop, you are not committing to allowing us onto your property to harvest. We understand that in some years there may not be excess, or you may be too busy to coordinate harvests. It just keeps us connected for those years when having us out to glean is a good fit. Ultimately, they are your fruit crops and you can choose whether or not to participate on a year-to-year basis.
- We will always work with you to find a harvest time and date that works with your schedule.
- Any volunteers that join us to harvest are closely monitored by staff and covered for personal injury by Ozarks Food Harvest’s liability insurance.
- We can only harvest fruit in safe locations for our volunteers. Sites should be close to road access with at least moderately maintained paths and tree areas.
- We are currently focusing our harvesting efforts on areas within a 1-hour drive of The Food Bank, but we encourage fruit crops outside these areas to be signed up in case we are able to connect you to gleaning groups close to you.
- Feel free to contact us if you would like to learn more about this program or any other projects that we have: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Click here to let us know about the fruit you may have to share and join the growing number of folks dedicated to fighting hunger with local food.