Friday, April 25th, 2014

Gardens to grow out of vacant lot

The Franklin Township land left vacant by Franklin County Children Services will soon be a community garden.

Kate Matheny, a grants coordinator in the Franklin County Commissioners office, is taking reservations for small plots being carved out of an acre of land on the lot.

Matheny explained at the July 23 meeting of the Franklin Township Trustees that there are about 150 such community gardens in Franklin County.

"People will have the ability to grow their own vegetables to feed their family, to sell at local markets, and to donate the extra produce to food pantries," she said. "People in this part of town are the ones this new spot is intended for."

The garden plots are expected to be ready early in August.

"We want to make it early so people can still grow fall vegetables – cabbage, kale, peppers, carrots," she said.

The major stipulation for those who do plant food on the plots is they cannot use pesticides or herbicide.

"We want to be as good to the ground as possible," Matheny said, adding that if the area does flood, there won’t be any pesticides or herbicides going downstream.

The area that will be plowed into small plots has a little brook running through it, Matheny said.

There is no charge for reserving a plot for a garden. Those who get a garden spot are requested to bring their own tools. Forms to reserve a plot are available at the township office, 2193 Frank Road.

Trustees also honored Southwest Area Commission chairman Ralph Horn with the second annual Juanita Kaufman award for outstanding service in the area.

"He helps the Eastfield and Westbrook block watch groups, distributes the newsletter," said Tim Guyton, township trustee.

The award was started last year and recognized long-time community activist Juanita Kaufman who had been instrumental in the areas annual National Night Out observance.

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