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Community gardens readied for spring 2014


June 27, 2013
By Chris Maza

chrism@thereminder.com

EAST LONGMEADOW — The community gardens at the Brown Farm property are almost ready for use.

Community gardens coordinator Kerisa Fitzgerald told Reminder Publications that the Friends of the Brown Farm and the Department of Public Works (DPW) have begun work on getting the site, located on Hampden Road, ready for planting.

While volunteers have been involved in preparing the area where gardening plots are planned, the DPW has been installing water systems and preparing the access road and parking area to better accommodate the number of people the Friends of the Brown Farm expect to use to facility.

"We've already got some plots that are ready to go," Fitzgerald said. "Right now we have two small areas that we plan on using with three more that will be prepared over the course of the summer and into the fall."

Fitzgerald said while the exact number has yet to be determined, she guessed somewhere between 25 and 30 plots would be available when the project is complete.

There will also be a community plot for those who wish to take advantage of the space, but do not wish to commit to renting a plot.

No plots will be available for rent in 2013. This year the community garden will be filled with vegetable and flower plants donated by Meadowbrook Farm and volunteers are being sought to help tend to the garden.

"This year we are going to plant out the space we have prepared and all of the vegetables we harvest will be donated to local food banks," Fitzgerald explained.

Those who volunteer this year have the option of being added to a list that would give them priority when plots are made available for rent in the spring 2014.

Fitzgerald said she has found early reaction to the community garden to be positive.

"There's been a really good response. I've been meeting with a lot of people in town and they think it's a good idea," she said. "Community gardens like ours have been popping up all over the place and are very popular because people are getting into growing their own food and sustainability.

Those interested in volunteering should contact Fitzgerald at 224-1842 or kerisaperazell@yahoo.com, or Heather Cunningham at 224-1577 or newhouse44@charter.net.

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