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The History

In 2016, The Foodbank, Inc. began repurposing an old parking lot next to our warehouse to grow fresh, local produce right in our own backyard. Since its founding, the urban garden has produced over 30,000 pounds of fresh produce for distribution to our neighbors. In addition to grow beds, the garden is home to a small greenhouse for seed starting, a large hydroponic greenhouse for growing lettuce year-round, and an in-vessel composting facility. We are also a popular spot for field trips and educational tours for anyone interested in urban gardening!

The Beverly K. Greenehouse

Our onsite greenhouse was built and fully operational by November 2021. It is named after Beverly K. Greene, the late matriarch of the Greene family, who sponsored its planning and construction.

The Greenehouse is 6,000 square feet, featuring a hydroponic growing system by the Ohio-based company Cropking. It is used to grow 14 different kinds of fresh lettuce, which we distribute directly to our neighbors through our Drive Thru produce pantry. More than 100,000 heads of lettuce have been harvested so far, with a current average of 1,400 heads/month.

We leave the roots attached to the lettuce we distribute and include a note explaining that it not only helps keep it fresher for longer but can also be replanted for a continuous harvest at home. This process of growing and distributing fresh greens for our neighbors provides a multitude of educational opportunities for volunteers, employees, interns, school field trips and anyone interested in taking a tour.

For questions or to request a tour, contact James Hoffer at or (937) 461-0265 x 20.

Urban Garden

We grow a variety of fruits and vegetables at The Foodbank in our forty raised beds and variety of growing containers, including tomatoes, peppers, squash, okra, green beans, peas, and carrots. In the colder months, we plant seeds in the greenhouse to kick things off and then transplant them to the outdoor containers at the beginning of the growing season. Last year, we harvested nearly 7,000 pounds of produce for distribution.

The Composter

Our in-vessel, continuous-flow composting system is constructed out of a recycled shipping container and manufactured by Green Mountain Technologies. The shipping container shelters food waste from pests and harsh weather while creating the optimal environment for composting. A metal auger mixes the compost, exposing it to oxygen and pushing food waste through the unit. The process within the composter takes anywhere from 14 to 21 days, and the product is then moved to a separate location to “cure” for an additional 30 days. We can then use the finished product in our garden! This composting system allows The Foodbank, Inc. to utilize our food spoilage to create a nutrient-rich soil amendment while diverting it from the landfill. Annually 1-2% of the food we rescue goes bad. Food spoilage and waste are an unavoidable side effect of food rescue, so we believe that by composting we are able to be the best possible stewards of the food products we receive.

Compost Bucket Program

Join The Foodbank’s Compost Bucket Program to minimize your waste and help us grow chemical-free veggies! For $60 a year (only $5/month), you will receive a five-gallon bucket with a sealable lid for your discarded food scraps.

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