Village green: Harvey facility starts community garden

HARVEY – One small area of Harvey might get a little greener thanks to local volunteers spreading the message about local food – as well as spreading soil.

Andrea Hemphill, a member of the community gardening initiative MQT Growth, on June 4 helped coordinate the start of a garden at Cherry Creek Village on Cherry Creek Road.

She and other volunteers mixed soil and made raised beds that residents at the facility can use to grow their own food.

Watering green things that grow might bring back a lot of memories to the residents.

“I think there’s probably a lot of people who used to garden when they were younger,” Hemphill said.

According to its website at, MQT Growth was founded in 2013 “by a handful of like-minded twenty-somethings” to educate the Marquette-area community on food systems, disseminate information on growing food, facilitate lectures and workshops and offer cooking classes.

The Cherry Creek project could have tasty rewards as Hemphill said fresh food tastes better.

“It’s pretty therapeutic too, a good reason to be outside,” she said.

Participants who created the beds included Voices For Youth, a Lutheran Social Services supportive living program to help at-risk youths.

Cherry Creek Village is owned and operated by Lutheran Social Services and is an independent-living facility for people age 62 and over.

“It’s real interesting to have something to do and see things grow, and hopefully get some vegetables out of it,” said garden volunteer Jim Hyer.

Getting in some physical activity and obtaining fresh food had something to do with the new project.

“They’ve been wanting to be a little more active and grow their own vegetables,” Kelly Wasik, service coordinator at Cherry Creek, said of the residents.

Their new garden might be a good start.

Christie Bleck can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is