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The community garden

July 14, 2009 - Frank Robinson
It has been a while since I first put a few seeds in my little piece of ground on North River Road in Howland Township.

Back in the spring, the township offered for free some nice, 20 by 40 plots of land it owns along North River Road. Being an avid gardener with very little space around my home, I took two.

The township plowed and prepared the garden sports very nicely. The dirt was well prepared for the numerous people who decided to participate in the project. I would guess there are about 30 individual garden spaces that were taken by residents.

But back to the spring. When I first saw the land, it was nothing but a big patch of grass similar to a hay field. The first thing that crossed my mind was that the deer and groundhogs certainly were going to have a nice summer nibbling on all the new stuff that wasn't there last year. Then I thought of vandals. It would be easy, i figured, for a person to simply stop by and help himself to the free vegetables.

It turns out neither issue is really a problem. There is a person who lives very near the gardens and watches people come and go all the time. And the critters, at least for my garden, have not been an issue. I had planned in advance that they would eat some of my garden, so I planted a little extra.

Now, the things that are growing are significant. It's not only my garden but the neighbors' are doing pretty well, too. You name it, somewhere in one of the gardens it is planted. From corn to cucumbers, and flowers to watermelon, it's in there.

I got a few cucumbers from my garden the other day. The squash is prolific. The tomatoes are coming along. The person a few garden spots over from me really knows how to grow peppers. One little garden even was being maintained the other day by a group "tweens." At least a couple of them seemed to be having fun. The others, not so much.

It is one of the best ideas I have come across, this community gardening idea. I'll be back with an update at harvest time.


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