As Helen Keller once said, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” This holds true in most aspects of life, and certainly we are finding this to true with the rebuilding of the Nelsonville Community Garden. Last week, we were pleased to have several volunteers attend our first ever “work party” at the new garden site. Not only were we excited about the number of volunteers, but we were especially excited about their age range: from 5 years young up to over 60 years wise! What a joy it was to see those young and “old” working together towards a common goal (Turns out kids are actually both excited about and good at hammering in landscape pins...who knew).
After this work party, we’re excited to report that we are officially halfway done with the laying of, pinning down, and mulching of the paths. In the back half of the garden, some of the weeds are practically as tall as our 6’4” volunteer but the front half is really taking shape and looking more and more like a true garden space. It is hard to believe that only earlier this summer it was a parking lot!
This long and involved process would be so much longer without all help we have had in the past and continue to receive from all sorts of sources: our partner organizations, community volunteers, students and local businesses to name a few. There are some community members that already know they want to have a plot in this garden once it is done so they work hard to help us get the area all ready. An intern from the Ohio University Plant Biology program is interested in soil science and is working on helping turn the top soil into soil that will someday provide nutrients for growing food. A local tree care company has been quite generous with donations of dump load after dump load of wood chips.
All these folks teaming up together is what makes huge projects like this possible. How fortunate we are to be working with a community of people concerned enough about where their food comes from that they are taking these huge steps with us to forge a growing space from scratch. Our continuing hope is that the enthusiasm emanating from those already involved will spread to their neighbors and then to their neighbors and so on. We are thankful for the team we have and look forward to one day having even more hands helping soon to get the other half mapped out. (Plus install the fourth side of the fence, get the soil amended, build a compost system and a shed...stay tuned.) The list of tasks is never ending but luckily so is our community’s dedication.