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BLUE ASH COMMUNITY GARDEN INFORMATION
The community garden concept was initiated in Blue Ash in 2009 with a pilot program, providing the opportunity for seven gardeners to have garden plots within the field area of the City’s Historical Hunt House property. Given the success of that pilot year, the program was expanded in 2010 to allow the opportunity for 25 gardeners to work 20 (8’x10’) plots, with some plots being shared. The Community Garden program will continue in 2011.
The City provides the land, soil preparation (including additional compost), and water (via rain barrels collecting run-off from the Hunt House parlor roof) – the gardeners do all the planting, provide all the seeds and materials, and are required to provide continual maintenance of their plot throughout the growing season. In 2010, gardeners planted a variety of vegetables, with just a few examples including corn, squash, tomatoes, peppers, beans, and cucumbers.
Blue Ash resident and volunteer Ann Scranton of the Kenridge Lake neighborhood has been the main coordinator for this project. Ann arranged for a home vegetable gardening educational seminar held in April 2010 in Blue Ash (with over 50 participants), held a pre-planting orientation for the participating gardeners, and coordinates other social interaction opportunities for group members. Ann has informed the City that she is very pleased with the project and is impressed with the participants. She noted that “on planting day, everyone was positive, helpful, and very interested in making the garden the best it can be.”
Community gardens have been utilized successfully in other communities both locally and nationwide. Just some examples of the benefits of a community garden include that it can give people from different cultures and socio-economic groups the opportunity to interact, it can improve social networks between neighbors and can foster networking between geographically separate neighborhoods, and it can teach leadership skills and a sense of community responsibility. “I am grateful that the City has allowed this community garden project to continue into 2010,“ noted Ann. “I am certain that the garden project has the potential to produce much more than just vegetables,” she added.
For the 2013 season, there will be a lottery system implemented to assign plots. Entries for the lottery will be accepted beginning March 1 and end April 1. Garden plots will be assigned to their owners by April 19. Interested Blue Ash residents should contact Mandi Brock at 686-1277 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Planting day in mid May 2010
Sharyn Fox working hard!
Mike & Hilary Egan enjoying the community garden experience.