Central West End farm feeds hundreds of people each week - KMOV.com

Central West End farm feeds hundreds of people each week

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(Credit: KMOV) (Credit: KMOV)

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com)  - A simple to work paired with one man’s vision for a better St. Louis was the inspiration for the Central West End Farm.

Arthur Culbert used to walk by the empty lot on Waterman every day. One day he got an idea.

“I got this idea one day that we could use land, which St. Louis has so much of, in a different way,” said Culbert,

Now retired, he devotes his time to planting, weeding and harvesting hundreds of pounds of food to feed those in need.

Bags of collard greens, tomatoes and okra are loaded up and picked up by local food pantries like Trinity Food Ministry which helps hundreds of families each week.

Located just a few blocks away, the manager of the food ministry said last week they fed 277 people.

“It’s important they knew the source, they know where it comes from, they know it’s grown with love,” said Barbi Click, the manager of the food ministry.

Culbert couldn’t do it alone. He has an army of volunteers and interns who’ve helped grow the land from a garden to an urban farm.

“There’s a lot to be proud of in St. Louis. In doing our fair share of trying to return some of this good earth to healthy and local eating,” said Culbert.

And he does it all out of his own pocket.

“I describe it as an inexpensive hobby for someone who’s retired at my age, I could be golfing instead,” Culbert says with a laugh.

Culbert’s smile and laugh have become well-known fixtures in the Central West End. A group of school children from nearby New City School walks past the farm and shouts out a chorus of “Hi Arthur!”

And he hopes to continue spreading the idea that he calls a gifted garden. In six year’s they’ve grown and given away more than 12,00 pounds of food.

“We do hope it does catch on and we hope this notion that one would create a foundation of gift gardens to inspire others to create their own gift gardens is nearby in the future,” he explained.

He says all it takes a little bit of land and the willingness to get your hands dirty.

To volunteer at the farm or learn more about starting your own gift garden go to their website.

Copyright 2017 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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