From Sprout to Sapling Part 3

In part one and two, we shared how the Southern Heights Food Forest started with the seed of an idea and became a strong young sapling through community support and hands on volunteering.

Now we bring you to April of 2016, when longtime volunteer, Adam Hintz, became our paid project coordinator taking this young sapling and giving it shape and strength to one day become a strong self-sustaining tree.

Long time volunteer, Adam Hintz, became our Project Coordinator in April 2016

With Give to Lincoln Day quickly approaching, plans were set in place to organize a benefit concert to raise awareness of the food forest and accept money which would be matched from a donation pool from the Lincoln Community Foundation and its supporters.

Local music veterans, Black Cohosh, who hadn’t performed in a couple of years, agreed to support the food forest and reunite for a special night of music at The Commons.

The reunion show/fundraiser was a great collaborative effort between the SHFF, Black Cohosh, Bogusman (who opened the show) and The Commons. X-Rated: Women in Music, a radio show on local station KZUM helped promote the event.

Alex Svoboda and Alex Houchin of Black Cohosh Promoting the benefit Show on KZUM

Even though Paul Simon was playing the same night in Lincoln, we had a great turn out, made lots of new friends and raised $400 to add to the $1000 raised on Give to Lincoln Day. Thanks to everyone who attended the concert and supported us on the day of giving!

In early June, Community Crops held their Garden Gala at the food forest. The couple of weeks leading up to the event brought us to the installation of the Southern Pollinator Garden, and a volunteer day to spruce up the area in general with a great turnout!

The newly installed southern pollinator garden and the great turnout to prep for the gala.

The Gala itself was a great celebration of community and gardening. Lots of families and green thumbs attended for a tour of the site, to play in the outdoor classroom and enjoy ice cream donated by Ivanna Cone.

Jim King fostering musical creativity at the Gala.

Father’s Day weekend brought us a helping hand from Johnson Control who planted Hazelnuts, Serviceberries and Plums. The hard working volunteers got 4o plants in the ground in just over an hour. A true showing of hard work and dedication to our project!

Johnson Control Volunteers Planting Hazelnuts and Serviceberries

In July, a Boy Scout project gifted us with the construction of raised beds for our outdoor classroom. Boy Scout Alex handled all aspects of planning and implementation for these wonderful additions to our classroom. Now, children can have a garden to themselves and can learn about growing food first hand!

A place for children to develop their gardening skills. Thanks Alex!

Later in July, Campbell’s Nursery and Julie Torquati donated Pear, Apple and Cherry trees to begin the orchard area connecting the food forest with the outdoor classroom. Because of their generous donations children will play and learn amongst the trees giving them inspiration and education of edible food systems.

Adding to the outdoor classroom, our invaluable volunteer Neil Kolder, brought us a “tree of interest” from his acreage south of Lincoln. This tree is now the home of many creative climbers and fort builders and brought a recognizable established presence to the classroom.

Neil, Carol Ann, Adam and Ken with our “Tree of Interest”

A new compost system designated for weed material only was built by another Boy Scout group in August. Thanks to Boy Scout Braeden’s leadership, we now have a place to put all of the plant material which would have just been thrown away!

Braeden and his Boy Scout group preparing to construct the compost bin.

Thanks to Mystic Rhodes Productions for connecting us!

Throughout the whole year, the pollinator garden planted the year before brought color and critters to the space. Bees, Butterflies, Moths, Wasps and Beetles all found food and forage in this space which received little additional water. Our work was really paying off!

Bee on Wild Senna


Monarch on Asters and Goldenrod

Beetle on Goldenrod

In September we planted even more prairie plants for the outdoor classroom. These landscapes gave the areas more definition. The day of planting, Memorial Day Weekend was very well attended and we made fast work of the 200 plants installed.

Lots of volunteers planting prairie plants in the outdoor classroom!

Coming up to the present we’ve just finished our first phase of our stage, are working on a storm water management system, installed a little free library and are preparing for another amazing Enchanted Food Forest Trunk or Treat on October 30th.

Looking forward to a lot of great performances!

Our little free library ready to be filled with books!

With our dedicated volunteer corp and project coordinator. We’ve gotten so much done in a few months. As the trees grow in the food forest, our little seed of a project has grown to a strong youthful sapling, it continues to grow up and out connecting to new and exciting parts of our community drawing nourishment from the ground and nurturing healthy relationships with our surroundings. Your help will make us even stronger! For more information on how to get involved email

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