The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

On the Bright Side

May 12, 2014

Open house highlights community garden possibilities

Giving flowers for Mother’s Day isn’t uncommon, but how about starting a garden instead? 

On Sunday, Farm Catskills and the Walton Community Garden hosted a Mother’s Day Open House. The Walton Community Garden was opened to the public to introduce and encourage gardening. It is embedded in rich riverbed soil alongside the Delaware River. 

“Mother’s Day was an opportunity to invite new members and to stage the Community Garden’s capacity for growth,” Coordinator Rebecca Morgan said. “Garden plots are still available for the 2014 season.”

With the prospect of expansion in mind, the Walton Community Garden recently joined together with the nonprofit organization Farm Catskills to encourage people to grow their own food.

Farm Catskills offers the Walton Community Garden the added benefit of an AmeriCorps service member, Charles Stern, who moved from Westchester to Andes to work with gardeners and farmers, whether novice or experienced. 

The garden contains three large plotted beds set on a 17-acre parcel with room for growth. 

“In working with Farm Catskills, the community garden will have the hands-on support needed, given by Charles Stern, to increase in variety and size,” Morgan explained. 

On Sunday, Stern greeted visitors to the garden site and explained its benefits. 

“This community garden has the advantages of riverbed soil, a location that receives full sun, and an irrigation system,” Stern said. 

The irrigation system includes a 3,000-gallon tank. Water is pumped from the river into the tank via a solar-powered mechanism. 

“I check the system regularly to keep the tank full of water,” Stern said. “The water is gravity fed to the garden beds and members can tap into it when necessary.”

Garden plots are rented and farmed by individuals, families and groups. 

“A local 4-H Club grows their own food on one plot,” Stern pointed out. “The possibilities are quite unlimited.”

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