Friendships grow in Miami community garden project

May 23rd, 2010    Author: Brett A. Roller    Filed Under: News

Whether it’s to save money or to have more control over where their food comes from, more and more people are turning to raising their own produce these days.

About 50 residents of Miami Township with limited access to land have taken advantage of the township’s offer of a community garden this spring.

The garden has brought together generations of families and as the hard work begins, plot neighbors are becoming fast friends.

Donna Noyes watches her granddaughter Samantha Noyes and her daughter Nikki Perry as they plant peppers in their plot at the Miami Township Community Garden Saturday afternoon.
The trustees were approached in January 2009 with the possibility of using township land for a tomato garden. After some discussion and the formation of a 10-member garden committee the idea will come to fruition this summer.

Krystin Thibodeau, Recreation Director for the township, serves on the garden committee and said the committee drew up a simple set of rules based on the rules of various community gardens throughout the state.

The trustees have made a little less than an acre of land at the Miami Township Civic Center available to residents and many plot owners were out enjoying the sunshine last weekend.

"We're planting a good harvest," Donna Noyes said while supervising her daughter and granddaughter's work. "I always used to have a garden and now my daughter said she would like to have one, but we all live in apartments."

Her daughter Nikki Perry lives in the township and is looking forward to sharing her crop of cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, onions and basil with her neighbors. She said the community garden is a great set up for her.

"The township tilled it all up for us, put fencing in, installed a water faucet, and spiked off all the plots," Perry said. "They cut a few trees this spring and used the mulch for paths between the plots."

Thibodeau said Eads Fence Co. in Loveland sold Miami Township deer control fencing for the garden at cost.

The land is divided into three different sized plots ranging in price from $20 to $35. The whole acre has not been rented this year so Thibodeau said the committee will plant mini-pumpkins that will be used in Miami Township's fall harvest festival.

Perry and Noyes said their garden has been a great way to meet people in the community and spend time with family.

"We've met so many people and everybody's so nice," Noyes said.

Mark Busemeyer was out working a plot with his family Saturday. He was also planting tomatoes.

"I heard about (the garden) from a friend and we love fresh vegetables," Busemeyer said. "It's a great way for the family to work together."

In addition to offering the plots, Miami Township's recreation department will offer garden education classes for all township residents throughout the summer. Thibodeau said the classes will be taught by local organic gardeners.

Plots for the 2011 growing season will go on sale Oct. 15 and priority will be given to returning gardeners that complied with the rules.
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