The Community Gardens of Hancock County is gearing up for its seventh year. The gardens are located at the Family Center, 1800 N. Blanchard St. and will have more than 60 plots available sectioned into both 10-by-20-foot and 10-by-40-foot plots.
The Community Gardens of Hancock County are 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.
“Gardening can be quite overwhelming for beginners. Successful gardening or ‘having a green thumb’ comes from a combination of education and experience. Participation in the Community Gardens is a great way to gain both,” said Tim Stumpp, Community Gardens of Hancock County advisory board member.
Applications will be accepted through Feb. 28. 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/community-gardens . They are also available at the following locations: The Family Center (1800 N. Blanchard St.) and United Way of Hancock County (245 Stanford Pkwy.)
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 the 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.
Master Gardener volunteers are available to answer questions and guide gardeners through the process from planning to planting to harvesting.
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.