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Pay It Forward: Growling Garden

growling garden
Shilo Loree

POCATELLO, Idaho (KXPI) - Spring is coming. That means planting season. Eyewitness News 3 anchor Todd Kunz found a unique garden recently, where all the work is meant to teach, and all the food is meant to feed the community in need.

Sure it may not look like a garden right now. We're still in winter, but come spring, the seeds will hit the soil. This summer will be the fifth year for the Growling Garden in Pocatello. It started as a way to help students when local parents reached out to Heather and Frank Goldberg with her psychology degree.

"Teach students life skills," said Frank.

"Life skills and also interacting with people. How to say hello to them and how to say thank you," said Heather.

Frank said with the help of the students, they can put up to 800 plants in the garden depending on the layout. And that's not the only help they get. They have eight beehives that do the hard work.

"Absolutely. The bees are our livestock that help pollinate," said Frank.

Come harvest time, Frank said they produce a little more than a ton of organic food that is given out to the community for free.

"Last year was 2,468 people," said Frank.

"Really?" said Kunz.

"Yes, out of this garden," said Frank, pointing to the garden boxes.

Remember the saying, 'feed a man a fish' versus 'teaching him to fish?'

"It's about these students needing to learn these life skills that they're not learning out of textbooks," said Frank.

"Because I figure, if we teach them, they can teach someone else, which can teach someone else," added Heather.

Kunz wanted to know why they really go to all this effort.

"I actually went to bed hungry at night. As a foster child, believe it or not, yes. There's some foster children that do. And then when a couple of my students said that they had the same problem, I said, 'we have to fix it,'" said Heather.

So we have to Pay It Forward.

"Uh oh," said Heather as both she and Frank watched an unknown man walk into their backyard.

"Frank and Heather, how are you?" asked the man.

"Yes," acknowledged Heather.

"Hello," said Frank.

"Good. I'm Kory (Carling) with Mountain America Credit Union and we've heard about what you're doing for your community. We've heard about all the classes and education you're providing. So because of that, we're here to Pay It Forward. So I brought with me today $500 in cash that we'd like to Pay It Forward for all the goodness that you're doing for your community and help you to continue to spread your knowledge and also add the benefit to our communities. So on behalf of Mountain America Credit Union, we'd like to Pay It Forward to you guys," said Carling.

"Wow. Thank you!" said Frank.

"Thank you!" said Heather.

"You're welcome," said Carling.

"Thank you so much," said Frank.

"I didn't expect this," said Heather.

"Thank you," repeated Frank.

"That puts the plants in the yard this year," said Heather.

"Yes," agreed Frank.

"I don't know what to say when someone does that," said Heather.

The Growling Garden is a nonprofit with six founders and six board members. They advertise the food on Facebook or you can find the website here.

"Pay It Forward" airs the second Wednesday of every month. If you know of a nonprofit organization or someone who deserves to be recognized for their contributions to the area, click on "News" then "Pay It Forward" under the menu stack at the top left of our homepage. Fill out the submission form, or send an email to Eyewitness News 3 anchor Todd Kunz at

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Todd Kunz

Todd is an anchor for Eyewitness News 3, Local News 8 and Fox 5.


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