Community garden eyed for Chipman property

 

Camden Garden Main

Plans are under way for another community garden, behind the Chipman Center.

Work to build the Boundless Garden at Georgetown Newtown is expected to begin in April, said Nicole Long of St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, who is assembling a team.

The city agreed to lease the lot – big enough for about 15 beds – to the church, explained Martin Hutchison, who, last year, started the highly successful Camden Community Gardens, a plot that not only produced bushels of produce, but strengthened the community.

Hutchison said he will happily coach Long.

“We would be building on the success of Camden. GreenSBY would like to create a network of community gardens. We would like to use vacant lots the city owns that have playgrounds nearby and see about  leasing them. The city is very, very open to that,” he said.

Long said she has volunteers from the church parish, as well as teens preparing to receive the sacrament of confirmation this year, who will pitch in as a way to demonstrate faith and love for neighbors.

She also wants to see the community involved.

“If we believe creation is sacred then we also believe in justice. These gardens are a beautiful way for the community in Salisbury to work together for justice and beauty, because gardens are beautiful,” Long said.

“I’m thrilled this is in partnership with the city and that we have the support of Martin, and that we’re able to participate,” she added.

Long said naming it Boundless Garden at Georgetown Newtown acknowledges “two layers, the current neighborhood we call Newton and the deep history of Georgetown.”

She said those who obtain groceries from food pantries will be offered supplemental produce from the plot, and will be invited to help nurture plants.

Hutchison, who has done some grant writing to fund his garden, praised Mayor Jake Day for being a cheerleader for neighborhood vegetable patches. Hutchison will add eight beds at Camden this year.

“Anybody can come and get what they want. Our desire is, it’s for the neighborhood, but we’re not policing it,” he said.

Because of the location, near Pinehurst Elementary School, “we see kids in the garden,” he said.

“They help us water the plants and plant seeds. Some of the vegetables don’t even make it home. A lot of times we wash it off and they eat it right there,” he said.

He recalled how the idea for another garden sprouted.

“Nicole is youth director at St. Francis. We put our garden in at Camden, which is right behind their church. So they come out of their back parking lot and look right at it. One day she called and said, ‘Can we help with it?’” he said.

He replied he didn’t need help, but said St. Francis is large enough to start its own garden.

The mutual goal, he said, is “to get good healthy food in people’s hands in the neighborhood and build good will.”

“It is growing more than veggies. It’s building community,” he said.

Long agreed.

“This is growing in the sense of produce and also growing good will in the community,” she said.

 

 

 

Reach Susan Canfora at scanfora@newszap.com.

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