Empowered by the support of local FFA members and a mission to give back, Wisconsin’s Timber Rattlers and GreenStone’s Little Chute branch teamed up to strike out hunger through the GreenStone Garden.
Located directly behind left field in Fox Cities Stadium, the GreenStone Garden provides a variety of fresh vegetables and healthy food options to St. Joseph’s Food Pantry in the Fox Valley. Despite this year’s heavy rainfall and harsh planting conditions, the garden’s harvest was still flush with tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and different types of squash.
Grown by the community, for the community, it is a hands-on summer project for many. Organized by Seth Merrill, Timber Rattler’s corporate marketing manager, with help from Master Gardeners, Paul and Fonda Larson, the garden serves individuals in need while also giving FFA members an opportunity to serve. Each year the Freedom FFA chapter, led by Paul, helps maintain the garden to ensure donations to the food pantry are bountiful. Seth, who has helped with the garden for many years, enjoys being able to work outside while contributing to a greater cause.
“We are a community-owned baseball team, so we find it imperative to give back anyway we can,” Seth explains. “Due to a cold May and June this year, the garden didn’t start producing anything until July, but we have already donated over 200 pounds of food and are still going strong.”
As a member-owned cooperative, GreenStone values the opportunity to continuously volunteer and give back to the community. This year marks the cooperative’s sixth year sponsoring the garden and GreenStone Financial Services Officer Riley Koller’s first year helping with the garden.
“It was a gift to give back to the community we serve while being involved with a sports team,” Riley says.
While the season of gardening is wrapping up, GreenStone’s commitment to rural and agricultural communities is not taking a timeout. The cooperative will continue to uphold its mission of giving back and supporting local initiatives with organizations like the St. Joseph’s Food Pantry and Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.
“We very much appreciate the partnership with GreenStone Farm Credit Services,” Seth says. “And we are grateful for the opportunity they provide us to give back to our community through the garden!”