Community gardens are, as someone recently said, becoming an ordinary thing in communities all over. Community gardens are sprouting up throughout Indiana due to public concern over our current food system (pink slime and GMO’s) bad economic times and rising food prices. These gardens are supported through volunteers and provide food for anyone who needs it. Free food what a concept!
It is, though, still inspiring to see a community come together and create the first garden in their city. In February 2012 fourteen Hartford city residents came together at the First Christian Church and discussed how they too could have a community garden that would not only feed the people in the community but bring them together in a collective effort. The planning began and donations were needed for even the most basic gardening tools like shovels, rakes and hoses. A wish list was distributed for all the needed items and visits were made to mobile homes, senior living and apartment complexes to announce the plans for the garden.
As April arrived the garden work days began and many volunteers showed up ready to dive into the dirt. Rocks, trash and debris were removed while mulch and compost were being spread. While digging up perennials for the flower bed excited participants discussed what to grow. Gardeners were also given the chance to sign up for free seeds from a local foundation called Tori’s Butterfly Foundation whom furnishes community gardeners with seeds, tools and other gardening help.
In May the garden was dedicated and the gardening season began, “I am so excited to know that the garden is ready. There are many things I am looking forward to,” said community gardener Lois Reading. “Giving back is first and foremost. Teaching my children that there are many blessings to be had when one shows a giving heart. Also, I plan to make some new friends, and grow some plants that I know will be blessed by God” said Lois Reading.
Wayne and Anita McCardle donated the land for the garden while others donated time, muscle, plants, and seeds. The church garden group also offers a garden mentoring program to help with questions and gardening advice. This garden offers the opportunity to merge food, friendship, and faith together while sharing knowledge to others about healthy organic living and gardening. Bringing together like minded enthusiastic individuals with a common goal was all Hartford needed to make their vision a reality.