Community garden in Bay Village ready to 'spring' into action
If you enjoy fresh produce, want to learn how to garden or want to help those in need, the Bay Village Community Garden has something for you. Community garden participants range from scout troops learning to grow vegetables and herbs to families who harvest the greens from their plot for the evening dinner table. And there are churches and community groups that use the plots to grow fresh produce for those in need.
The Bay Village Community Garden opened in May 2010 at the corner of Forestview and Wolf roads, and in no time, eighty plots were quickly in use. The garden was envisioned by Green Team member, Bob Shields, who has a master's degree in botany and has been involved in gardening since his scouting days. He expects that all 130 plots available will be rented out or put to use by service organizations this year.
What’s the draw? According to Shields, “There is no tomato that tastes better than the one that you grow yourself. And I always enjoy meeting the people out there.” The fellowship of the gardeners and beauty of the garden make it a regular destination for many Bay residents.
Sponsored for Bay residents in a partnership that includes the Bay Village Green Team, the City and the School Board, the community garden is all about sustainability. Not only does the garden allow residents and service organizations to grow healthy, organic, local food, but a technique called “square foot gardening” is used to maximize the crop produced in the 4-by-8 foot plots.
With square foot gardening, you plant within each square foot, not in rows. The many “green” advantages of square foot gardening include less land and water usage as the crops are close together and fewer weeds. Square foot gardening is much more efficient use of time and space.
In addition to growing vegetables, herbs and flowers, the garden is a place where people of all ages can come together and participate in gardening related projects. Last year, some projects hosted at the community garden included the planting of a magnificent row of sunflowers along the north side of the garden by Green Team members Christine Demeter and Steve Slane. An Eagle Scout’s project was completed by constructing a compost bin made out of salvaged wooden pallets. The bin will be used to compost the garden’s organic waste this year.
The community garden plots are rented by Bay residents for $40.00 for the growing season (April-November). Plots are made available to service organizations free of charge. There are plots for the 2011 season still available. If you are a Bay resident and are interested in a plot, please contact Bob Shields at firstname.lastname@example.org. Monetary or supply donations are also appreciated!
Brenda O'Reilly is Co-Chair of the Bay Village Green Team.