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Friday, Aug. 22, 2014

Community vegetable garden a success

Saturday, August 15, 2009

(Photo)
Madonna Elliott, John Kessinger and Margaret Kessinger picked vegetables in the Bainbridge Community Vegetable garden Friday morning. The three were instrumental along with Linda Hartman in creating the garden that is open to all Bainbridge residents.
With tough economic times hitting all around Putnam County, a group of innovative Bainbridge residents have come up with a way to help feed the members of their community.

When the Bainbridge Improvement Society (BIS) met last spring they decided to act on a suggestion given to them by Bainbridge Town Clerk Jason Hartman to create a community garden.

Using land that belongs to the town that is designated for a future park, four members of BIS took $100 and bought plants.

Madonna Elliott, Linda Hartman, John and Margaret Kessinger got the garden plot ready and began planting green beans, sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers, onions, cabbage and cucumbers.

They came up with a list rules that needed to be followed and No Sail Splash Guard in Fincastle made a sign for them to post.

The rules include helping to maintain the garden by weeding a small area whenever you visit. Picking only what your family will consume. Not picking them for resale or canning. Hours are daily from dawn to dusk and group gardening is every Sunday from 4-5 p.m.

Everyone is welcome and the garden is open to all members of the community.

"The community garden has just been hugely successful," said Hartman. "People come and pick some sweet corn and spend 15 minutes weeding and go on their way."

Hartman says he gets more phone calls about the community garden than any other calls in his office.

"We decided we'd do it and prepare for failure, but it's been a great success," he added.

Next year the group plans to increase the size of the plot and hope to teach local 4-H members how to garden.

John Kessinger, who is a nine-year 4-Her himself, has been gardening all his life.

"I'd like to bring in some 4-Hers and teach them how to garden," he told the Banner Graphic.

Kessinger looked up information on community gardens at the beginning of the project and discovered there are over one million in the United States.

"It's a great idea. People really seem to like it. The only problem we've had has been with moles that messed up a few vegetables," he laughed.

According to the American Community Garden Organization the benefits of investing in gardens are numerous.

"Besides helping put food on the dinning room table, it also improves the lives of people in the garden by encouraging self-reliance and creating an opportunity for recreation, exercise, therapy and education," says their Web site. "And, it provides opportunities for intergenerational and cross-cultural connections."

The garden is located just north of the North Putnam Community School Corporation building. Any 4-H members interested in gardening can contact Kessinger at 522-3636. People with questions about the community garden can also contact Hartman 522-6238.


Comments
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What a great story and even greater idea! More communities should do this. But I know lots of communitiy members do this by planting gardens with much more that they can use, then put it on a table by the street with a sign that says "free". Also plant lots of sweet corn and take it around to neighbors as give it to them. Isn't that what communities do for each other?

Who said the Banner didn't print good news? Not me!

-- Posted by interested party on Sat, Aug 15, 2009, at 8:30 AM

Just an FYI to all of you Banner Graphic readers, The Girl Scouts of Northern Putnam County also have gardens in Roachdale and Greencastle and all of the vegetables from the gardens are donated to the food pantry's in Bainbridge and Greencastle. The Girl Scouts have planted, maintained, weeded and picked all of the vegetables and the food pantrys are grateful. It's a great way to help the community and teach the girls of all ages many life lessons!

-- Posted by nikkilpn on Sat, Aug 15, 2009, at 8:31 PM

Oh what a WONDERFUL IDEA!!!I believe this is the Best Idea Anyone Has Came Up With In Such A Long Time...It's such a fantastic idea and I think it would be a wonderful project for even the little ones such as 2 yr.olds and up should get involved in. That way by the time they would be of age to join 4-H they would already have the conspect of just what to do..It would be great for the little ones to even have a section of there own. That way noone would have to worry about the littler ones stepping on the larger section of plants. The Cummunity could even let the little ones plant some flowers by seed for it's such Fun seeing their little eyes glow as they see such Wonderful and Beautiful things grow..Also the little ones could pick them to give to their moms,dads,grandparents etc... That way not only will there be fresh vegetables and fruits to put on the table there would be a Beautiful Vase of Flowers..The Beautiful Spark in the little ones eyes as they were to do this would be absolutely Priceless..As well as such a Wonderful Learning Experience!!! It would just be Fantastic if EVERY COMMUNITY GOT INVOLVED in a Project like this, as well as Help put Food on tables..It would also really help out the Food Pantries..God Bless All Of Those Who Got This Started and Helped Out!!

-- Posted by honestangel_59 on Wed, Aug 26, 2009, at 6:44 AM


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