The Community Gardens of Hancock County is gearing up for its sixth year. This year the garden plot at the Family Center, 1800 N. Blanchard St. will have more than 60 plots available sectioned into both 10-by-20-foot and 10-by-40-foot plots.
The Community Gardens is open for anyone to apply, but low- to moderate-income families or those on assistance are especially encouraged to apply and will be given preference. Agencies, organizations, churches or youth groups that want to grow a plot and donate at least a portion of the produce to those serving food to insecure families may apply as well.
Applications will be accepted from Jan. 29th through Feb. 15th. Plots will initially be assigned to low-to moderate-income families on a first come, first-served basis.
Applications can be filled out online at http://liveunitedhancockcounty.org . They are also available at the following locations: Ohio State Extension Office (7868 CR 140), The Family Center (1800 N. Blanchard St.), Christian Clearing House (1800 N. Blanchard St.), and Associated Charities (1800 N. Blanchard St.).
The Community Gardens of Hancock County began as a collaborative effort of the following groups: United Way of Hancock County, MENTOR Initiative, Hancock County Sustainability Coalition, Ohio State University Extension, Hancock County Master Gardener Volunteers, and The Community Foundation. It is now under the management of the Halt Hunger Initiative and is working toward its goal to educate and equip individuals and families to be food secure.
Gardeners can anticipate planting their gardens in late April or early May depending on weather. The gardens remain open through mid-October. Gardeners are expected to weed their plots and maintain their area to encourage harmony in the gardens.
Terry Badertscher, six year member and garden steward says, “You’re going to have weeds in any garden but if you practice proper weed control and pull the weeds out when they are smaller you will be working smarter not harder.”
Master Gardener volunteers are available to answer questions and guide gardeners through the process from planning to planting to harvesting.
For those who have never had a garden, Master Gardener volunteer, Karl Farwig, says beginning gardeners should plan on spending five to 10 hours a week working in their plots. “That time frame will vary depending on the size of the plot and the plants they are growing,” Farwig said.
For more information, contact United Way of Hancock County at 419-423-1432 or email Heather Heilman, grants/program coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org