Fall is upon us! What happened? Where did the time go? Kids are back in school, the mornings are cooler and days are shorter. But you know what? The gardening does not stop! We are busy harvesting, planting, and building.
The People’s Garden, located at 209 Brooklyn Ave. behind Agape Distribution, continues to thrive, and change for the betterment of the community. We are continuing to work hard to improve, change, grow and communicate with the public through our articles and our Facebook page. Come and visit! We had a visitor today that saw that it is a peaceful place to come and sit and read, listen to the sounds of nature and enjoy the beauty of gardens. Nice to meet you, Chastity! Everyone is welcome.
Thankfully, we are continuing to harvest tomatoes, onions, several different kinds of hot peppers, eggplant, tomatillos, herbs and some butternut squash. We do not give up and say that the season is over. We are busy planting cool weather crops such as spinach, radishes, kale, chard and carrots. Arugula is another cool weather item that is my personal favorite green for salad. We have brushed snow off the arugula to enjoy it in the winter months. Adding a layer of leaves or straw around the plants helps keep the proper temperature and moisture during the colder months, protecting from frost damage.
Do you know that garlic grows throughout the winter months? It is planted here a few inches deep in November, covered with leaves and then begins to grow in the spring for a July harvest.
Appreciation is certainly due to any volunteers that have spent time helping in the garden including renters who are tending to their own gardens. One volunteer, I can’t say Bob’s name, even spent many hours in the hot sun building a nice, sturdy ramp for those with special abilities to be able to enter the Learning Center where we have air conditioning and heat when needed. It is amazing how many people are involved in helping the garden to be so valuable to the people in the area by providing fresh vegetables for their pantry.
Volunteers are a vital part of the community garden’s success. Many jobs are pleasant, some require a little sweating. A job list, gloves, shovels, utility carts and other materials are available. We have benches and a nice picnic table available for your enjoyment and rest. The garden is open to the public. We don’t try to keep out people, just the deer and groundhogs. If you are interested in volunteering occasionally or regularly, call Conelia Dixon at 937 726 9525. Even though the Agape Agency Store will be moving to a larger space, The People’s Garden and the soon-to-be renovated and enlarged food pantry will remain where they are.
The writer is a Master Gardener and a coordinator of the People’s Garden. Reach her at 937-726-9525.