City garden surrounded by Kansas City food desert gets a jump start

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Dan Krull has long dreamed of creating a sustainable garden, within the city limits, that could help families struggling to feed their children.

“I moved here because this garden is here,” Krull said. “I have four kids and I live right across the street.”

Krull has worked hard to breathe life into the Manheim Park Community Garden, which is near 42nd and Troost. Over the weekend, the garden took a quantum leap forward after volunteers from Bayer moved in to help with chainsaws, woodchippers and a team who quickly assembled a new greenhouse on the two-acre stretch of land.

“They had big dreams and we just picked up their dreams and put our little resources behind it,” said Nate Kimmerle with Bayer.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, nearly 25 million Americans live in so-called "food deserts". Those are areas where there is ample access to fast-food, but stores selling fresh fruits and vegetables are difficult to find.

Parents, like Krull, in the Manheim Park neighborhood feel encouraged about the ability to grow their own healthy options.

“We will be able to maintain green space and grow vegetables,” Krull said. “We’ll have native plants and habitat for animals forever. We own it, and it'll always be here.”