BISMARCK — Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring has awarded grants totaling more than $65,000 for four large-project orchard and garden grants.

“The projects provide educational opportunities and foster community spirit by bringing people together to plant and tend these orchards and gardens,” Goehring said. “The fruits and vegetables produced will benefit communities, schools and those in need.”

The grants were awarded to:

• Barnes County Park Board, Valley City: $19,900 to construct a large orchard of fruit trees and shrubs in northwest Valley City, North Dakota. The orchard will be used to help educate students on plant life cycles and caring for fruiting trees and shrubs.

• Velva FFA, Velva: $20,000 for a public orchard to use for a variety of plant science and horticulture classes to teach about orchard care. Produce will be donated to local food pantries, used in the schools and used to teach about canning and preservation in Velva, North Dakota.

• Wahpeton Park Board, Wahpeton: $20,000 for a community orchard used by schools, 4-H clubs, FFA chapters, and Boy and Girl Scouts as an outdoor classroom to teach all aspects of tree care. The produce will be used for summer feeding programs, the senior center and donated to local food pantries.

• Turtle Mountain Chippewa Pembina Pow Wow Committee, Belcourt: $5,300 to repurpose green space and construct garden boxes that can be used for growing vegetables. The project in Belcourt, North Dakota, will promote intergenerational and cultural learning between all age groups.

Goehring said grant funds can be used for plants, trees, planting supplies, soil amendments, irrigation and fencing supplies. Grant funds cannot be used to purchase land, permanent structures or for capital expenditures.

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