Community Garden Network Sets First Meeting of Season

Workers in the Garden Network meet to pull weeds at the Pantry Garden in 2012. Shown from left to right standing: Brian Dobbie, Linda Lewis, Natalia Yakimenko, Teri Clark. Seated from left to right are Maureen Dobbie, John Sweezy and Carol Meyer-Niedzwiecki.

By Carol Meyer-Niedzwiecki

The South County Community Garden Network invites gardeners to their first meeting of the gardening season on Wednesday, April 16, at 6 p.m. at South County Community Services. It’s a potluck so bring a dish to pass.

The South County Community Garden Network has two garden areas – one on the east side and one on the west of the village. Both are tended by volunteers raising food for themselves and their families as well as making some available for distribution via South County Community Services (SCCS). Flowers grown also are sold at the Vicksburg Farmers Market.

The Heritage Garden is located on North Richardson Street, near the new pavilion which will house the Friday Farmers Market.

The Heritage Garden has magnificent flowers, standing tall with blooming color, greeting visitors to the village. There are also wonderful scarecrow sculptures that grace Heritage’s grounds.

Along with growing flowers, individuals adopt plots and plant vegetables to enjoy all summer long and into the fall. Plots are available for those who would like one. The garden provides opportunities to get to know others in the village and work alongside them in keeping up pathways and the overall look and function of the garden.

The Pantry Garden is located on West Prairie Street, behind the Leja House at the western end of town. A banner on the fence out front welcomes gardeners.

The Pantry Garden has lots of plots for individuals to grow fresh produce.

This garden has perennial plant areas, a composting section and berry bushes.

The Garden Network also hopes to have a few events at the Pantry Garden this year. It’s a great place to host a bonfire, have a potluck or just welcome new visitors to take a look around.

Gardeners in both areas enjoy growing enough to donate some of their yield to SCCS to feed those who aren’t able to have their own garden or those looking to eat fresh, locally grown, veggies and stretch challenging food budgets.

Natalia Yakimenko plants peas in the spring at the Pantry Garden.

Free seeds could be available for those who want to garden. Garden tools are available, too, for sharing along with good humor to make pulling weeds and tending plots a lot more fun.

There is an irrigation system to provide free village water to all plots. Master Gardeners are available to answer questions, provide information, give tips on gardening practices and suggest remedies for potential problems, all to increase everyone’s chances for successful growing.

If you are unable to make the meeting on April 16, please contact Jonatha Johnson (269-649-9066 or for the Heritage Garden and Carol Meyer-Niedzwiecki (269-568-0580 or for the Pantry Garden.

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