Local organization starts 15 gardens, encourages community participation

By Ryan Winstead

A Lexington group is striving to make a big impact with a few helping hands.

Seedleaf, created four years ago, is an organization that aims to provide the community with sustainable food sources.

Since it’s inception, Seedleaf has created fifteen gardens across Lexington. Ryan Koch, executive director for Seedleaf, helped structure the group in 2007.

“These gardens help feed the homeless in the community,” Koch said.

The primary goal is to teach locals about sustainability and gardening, a skill that they can practice in their own backyards.

Seedleaf provides volunteers with opportunities to practice gardening and cooking fresh food.

Volunteers from Seedleaf host cooking education workshops in community churches to teach young adults how to make use of fresh produce and eat healthily.

Soups On! is a monthly event hosted by Seedleaf where volunteers gather at Woodland Christian Church to cook soup using the vegetables picked from the community gardens.The soup is then donated to a local feeding organization.

Seedleaf’s partnerships with local churches allow the organization to become involved with the youth of Lexington as well.

“Seedleaf is tailored for volunteers,” Koch said. “We do our best to accommodate them.”

A newer addition to Seedleaf is its composting system. Seedleaf takes pre-consumer organic waste from fourteen Lexington restaurants and kitchens.

This waste is then deposited into nine of Seedleaf’s compost sites, and eventually generates free compost for learning gardeners and Seedleaf’s own veggie patches.

Mellow Mushroom, a pizza restaurant close to UK’s campus, is one of the fourteen partners.

“Anything compostable that is used in kitchen prep is saved for composting,” said Sam Reed, manager at Mellow Mushroom, “Seedleaf’s system here is awesome.”

For more information, visit Seedleaf.org.