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Can you dig it?
The folks behind the Grant County Distribution Garden hope you can and will as annual planting is set to begin.
The Distribution Garden was created in 2010 on Hopperton Lane in Dry Ridge as a way to benefit seniors and families in need.
Three satellite gardens will also be tended to this year at Helton Heights and Parkview Manor in Williamstown and Meadowview in Dry Ridge.
Plants and seeds will also be provided to three local daycares who will need some assistance getting the soil ready for planting.
At the garden, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, summer and winter squash, beans and sweet potatoes are grown and donated.
However, for the garden to be successful, volunteers are needed to weed, till, harvest, water and plant, among other tasks.
“The more volunteers we have, the more successful the garden is because we have less weeds, more produce can be picked and work can be spread around to many people versus a few,” said Sharon Tepe, master gardener. “Individuals, groups or businesses can commit weekly by taking care of a row of vegetables or they can commit to every other week or sporadically.”
Volunteers can adopt a row of vegetables or help out occasionally from planting in May to cleanup in September.
Tepe said she is looking for Grant County organizations that distribute food to adopt one harvest a month.
The organization would bring their own volunteers to harvest the produce, which they take with them to distribute.
Planting dates for the Distribution Garden are set for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 16 and May 17, with rain dates of May 23 and May 24.
People can stop in for a couple of hours or work the entire day.
Although planting dates for the satellite gardens have not been set yet, updates will be posted on the garden’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/distributiongarden.
Smaller distribution of produce begins in July, with peak distribution occurring during the month of August and into September.
“These are tough financial times for many people in our community,” Tepe said. “I feel that the gardens help supplement their current food supply with nutritional options.”
While volunteer support is vital to the garden’s day-to-day operations, financial support also is crucial.
Tepe said the gardens would not exist without grants from the Grant County Soil Conservation District, Williamstown Kiwanis and the Presbyterian Hunger Program.
Those interested in starting their own garden are also in luck.
The Grant County Distribution Garden is sponsoring a gardening class that will span the vegetable growing season.
The class will meet at 9:30 a.m. every Tuesday at the garden on Hopperton Lane in Dry Ridge, from May 27 through Sept. 9.
Anyone who would like to participate in the class or is interested in volunteering, can call 823-0858 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Working in the gardens challenges me to learn more about growing vegetables,” Tepe said. “I also like meeting new people and giving back to the community. When my kids were young and very active, I really didn’t have time to volunteer. It feels good to be able to do that now.”