Help grow community gardening (Google / Tifton Gazette)

Read at : Google Alert – gardening

http://www.tiftongazette.com/opinion/local_story_234232905.html

Help grow community gardening

This week, Aug. 23-29, is National Community Gardening week, and across the country, gardeners of all ages are digging in. They may be at school gardens, community rental plots, senior centers, homeless shelters or neighborhood yards. But they share one thing in common: a passion for growing and sharing good food with others.

A community garden is simply any piece of land gardened by a group of people. It can be urban, suburban or rural. It can grow flowers, vegetables or community. It can be one community plot, or can be many individual plots.

The many benefits of community gardening include improved health, revitalized neighborhoods, crime reduction, beautification, self-reliance, increased social interaction and opportunities for intergenerational and cross-cultural connections.

In Tifton, the community gardening movement is formally taking root, with a new Community Gardening Committee now designated as part of the Keep Tift Beautiful Advisory Board. So far, the committee has help Brother Charlie’s Rescue Center — a local homeless shelter — install, plant and maintain 400 square feet of raised-beds. The staff and residents are raising fresh food for the shelter, where over 100 meals are served daily.

Many groups have made the project a success thus far, including the City of Tifton, Hands on Georgia, ABAC Horticulture Club, Georgia Agrirama, Patrick Tractor Company, Lowe’s and many generous private donors. Volunteers have lifted, dug, tilled, weeded, planted, planned, grunted and laughed. It is rewarding and fun to grow food with others!

Several other projects are under consideration now throughout the community, and the committee welcomes suggestions for gardens where there is strong local or neighborhood support.

To celebrate and honor National Community Gardening Week, a work day will be held at the Brother Charlie’s garden at 326 Beech St., Saturday, Aug. 29, from 9-11 a.m. Volunteers will help weed and plant the fall garden, paint a sign and start building compost bins. They should bring sturdy shoes, work gloves and a few good tools (labeled). For directions, call the Brother Charlie’s office at 382-0577.

Anyone interested in serving on the Community Gardening committee or volunteering at the gardens on a regular basis can contact me at the number below for more information.

Sincerely,

Leeann Culbreath

Master Gardener

Keep Tift Beautiful

Board

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.