Growing a healthy outlet

By Michelle Stephenson - Contributing columnist

Fall is right around the corner and like no other. Kids are returning to school after more than three months off, our lives have been changed by mandates, and there arepossible work reductions. This is an unusual time. However, one thing has remained constant: planting in a garden can be refreshing, healing, and rewarding. During these unprecedented times it’s important to find healthy outlets, with gardening being one such option.

According to the OSU Extension Office Master Gardeners, some things to do in the garden during September could include but are not limited to: Planting trees and shrubs in the landscape around garden; putting ground covers in open garden space; harvesting green tomatoes before a killing frost, composting garden debris, harvesting seeds of dill, coriander and caraway by hanging stems with the seed heads enclosed inside a paper bag; and/or record gardening successes and failures now for reference next growing season.

At The People’s Garden (located on Brooklyn Avenue in Sidney behind the Agape Distribution Center) we’ve been working diligently this garden season to provide viable garden beds for people to rent, supply nutritious produce directly to pantry shoppers within CDC guidelines, and provide a progressive garden class for children in coordination with the Shelby County Water and Soil Conservation District.

This garden season has required us to be more tenacious, determined, and understanding. Despite the pandemic we’ve continued to have a growing (no pun intended) interest in the community garden. It truly is a calming space where people connect with each other, grow their own food, and enjoy nature. Please stop by and check it out. We are always looking for volunteers and keep an updated work list posted on the porch bulletin board.

Also, we have a teaching building on site that will be used for gardening classes but can also be used for community functions (exercise class, Bible study, extracurricular activities, etc.) too. We hope to see you soon at your local community garden, The People’s Garden, 209 Brooklyn Ave., Sidney.

Should you have any questions or want more information please email Connie Dixon at

By Michelle Stephenson

Contributing columnist

The writer is a volunteer at the People’s Garden.

The writer is a volunteer at the People’s Garden.