G.L. Huyett Charities Community Garden

Community GardenSince acquiring G.L. Huyett in November 1992, owners Tim and Carol O’Keeffe have made substantial investments in facilities, people, and technology to grow the business and develop “a community of value-added communities building community.”
 
As a proprietary part of their vision for the future of the Company, the O’Keeffe’s  continuously encourage G.L. Huyett employees to seek opportunities to get involved in order to improve themselves and make their communities better places to live and work.

Breaking New Ground

Recognizing an opportunity to contribute to local non-profit organizations in and around Minneapolis, KS, planning for a Community Garden began in the winter of 2018. An employee committee consisting of volunteers met to draw up plans, develop a budget, and determine a planting, harvesting, and distribution schedule for the project.
 
Following winter’s thaw in early March, construction of the garden began with dirt work to carve out and level a 40-foot by 80-foot area of ground in a wheat field directly south of G.L. Huyett’s headquarters in Minneapolis, KS. Soon after, truckloads of sand and crushed limestone were brought in to level the garden and adequately support drainage.
 
Secondhand fencing was sourced, cleaned, and painted before being installed to define the perimeter of the garden. A water source was extended to the garden and a sprinkler system was installed to help keep plants irrigated and protected against the hot, dry, and windy summers Kansas is well known for.
 
During April, employee volunteers and their families worked late into the evening during two separate work sessions to assemble raised aluminum garden beds. The beds were then filled with empty aluminum cans collected by employees before being filled with bag after bag of top soil and fertilizer. Employees also constructed trellises from repurposed warehouse rack shelving to support climbing plants.
 
In early May, volunteers held a planting party to sow seeds and plant seedlings of a broad selection of vegetables using an orderly and highly productive gardening process called “Square Foot Gardening” pioneered by Mel Bartholomew in 1981. Each bed was sectioned into 1-foot squares, planted, and labeled. Over the next few weeks, volunteers added additional landscaping, flowering plants, and trees around the perimeter of the garden before more crushed limestone was spread to connect the garden to G.L. Huyett’s existing parking lot.
 
Ultimately, as an employee-driven project, the success of the Community Garden is dependent entirely upon employee volunteers. So, volunteers were recruited, and a watering and weeding schedule was developed to ensure the garden received the love and care it needed to thrive. With the garden flourishing by early June, employees could be seen on their lunch breaks or after hours watering, pulling weeds, or harvesting crops. 
 
As crops are harvested, volunteers fill wooden garden crates labeled with G.L. Huyett’s Community Garden to share with local non-profit organizations.

 
Community Garden Ground Breaking.jpg Community Garden Building.jpg  Community Garden Planters.jpg 
 
Community Garden Signage.jpg Community Garden Tomato Cages.jpg Community Garden Planted.jpg

 
Giving Back to the Community
Community Garden Produce.jpg

At G.L. Huyett, we believe that life is about helping others and serving humanity while becoming successful. This gives life purpose and value and also lends itself to a sense of satisfaction, self-worth, and personal happiness. With establishment of a culture guided by these principals and being active in the community, we are rewarded by the experience of distributing the garden’s harvest around the community, particularly to those in need. Our ambition is that in doing so we are doing our part to help create a better world for us all.
 
If your non-profit organization has a need for fresh produce, please submit the following form to let us know. G.L. Huyett looks forward to helping as many members of our communities as possible.


Have a need for produce?