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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Groups come together in creating community garden

Monday, November 9, 2009

Lily Bonwich, Al Little, Karen Martoglio, Bruce Sanders and Tyler Hess work together to put dirt in a raised bed at the Greencastle Community Garden Sunday afternoon.
GREENCASTLE -- Winter may be coming soon, but a group of people involved with the Greencastle Community Garden were thinking toward spring on Sunday.

Several people gathered at the community garden site at the intersection of Franklin and Spring streets to help prepare raised beds that will be used for plantings at the garden next season.

The Greencastle Community Garden Project actually began this past spring. Members of the garden committee, along with representatives from the City of Greencastle planted vegetables at the site to see what sort of results they would get.

In 2010, the garden will be opened up to the entire community. Individuals or groups will be able to purchase beds in the garden for a nominal fee.

"It's the city's land we're using," explained Tim Martin, a DePauw University senior who has spearheaded the community garden initiative. "Maintaining the garden has really been a collective effort ... people from the city and from DePauw have come together. With the raised beds, we wanted to do one more project before the freeze to help prepare for next year."

Martin us a religious studies major at DePauw, and is also a Bonner Scholar. He said he became involved with the development of the community garden because he was "really interested in different aspects of the sustainability movement."

"Within that, food is my passion," he said.

Martin has enjoyed the sense of unity he has seen the garden foster between people affiliated with DePauw and people from the Greencastle community.

"I'm learning so much from members of the community," he said.

Karen Martoglio was invited by Greencastle Mayor Sue Murray to be part of the city's Sustainability Committee. Martoglio works at DePauw as a help desk analyst, and is also a Master Gardener.

"I'm very excited about this," she said.

Martoglio is originally from Wyoming, and has lived in Greencastle for nearly eight years. She gardens at home, and said she has had "the most success with flowers," but that she enjoys growing vegetables as well.

"I know I'm not the only one who has romantic ideas about what a community garden can do as far as bringing people together," she said. "Plus, there is a real educational component to it ... people who don't have the space to garden at there own homes and who wouldn't get the chance to have a garden otherwise are afforded a great opportunity."

Martoglio is enthusiastic about being able to help the less fortunate through the garden.

"This can be a way we can help feed the hungry," she said. "That's a worthy goal."

DePauw freshman Tyler Hess, a native of Louisville, Ky., participated throughout his high school years in service trips throughout Kentucky.

"Some of those trips involved community gardens," he said. "I was interested in getting one going here in Greencastle, and was told Tim was already building one. So I met up with him to see how I could get involved."

Hess would like to major in environmental policy, but DePauw does not currently offer that major.

"I like to know where my food comes from," Hess said. "I like to be able to put seeds in the ground, watch them grow and know there are no chemicals being used."

Hess is passionate about making others aware of how the food they eat is processed.

"How we grow food now is not right at all," he said. "I'm tired of the veil."

Hess said he has seen firsthand how gardens such as the one in Greencastle can bring a community closer.

"I sort of think of it like, if there is a piece of trash on the sidewalk in your town, you're going to pick it up because it's your sidewalk too and you want to take care of it," he said. "This garden will be like that. Everyone who gets a bed here will be a part of it and will want to make it work. I really think this is going to flourish."

For more information about the Greencastle Community Garden, contact Martin at timothy_martin2010@depauw.edu.

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