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September 10, 2013

Harvest plants a seed: Community gardens continue to expand

Participants plan to continue, expand community gardens

Now that it’s harvest time for the six community gardens that sprouted up in Logansport this spring, participants are not only calling the initiative a success, but are already developing ways for it to continue, improve and expand.

“I didn’t expect to be at this point for at least another two to three years,” said Thomas Henderson, executive director of the American Communities Transitioning to Sustainability, or ACTS, Project with the United Way of Cass County, which helped lead the initiative. “It’s about being in the right place at the right time. I’m amazed at how things have fallen together so well here.”

Gardens were established at Ivy Tech Community College, Peak Community Services, Emmaus Mission Center, Franklin Elementary School, Little Children’s Ministry at First United Methodist Church and the Senior Center. Transplants were grown and supplied by the Logansport High School Science Club.

Henderson, who formerly served on the National Board of Directors of the National Community Gardens Association, estimated each plot is capable of producing 20 to 30 meals.

He said one of his favorite results of the project was the amount of children involved and the enthusiasm they showed.

“What was so beautiful about the Little Children’s Ministry is that the kids planted and the first harvest was radishes, and they could not wait to eat radishes, because they grew them, and liked it when they did,” he said.

Cardinal Services had eight plots at Ivy Tech over the spring and summer.

Mindy Eisenbise, coordinator at Cardinal Services, said they’ve already canned more than 30 quarts of green beans and expects to end up with 30 quarts of tomatoes by the time the harvest is complete. All of the food will go toward the facility’s group homes and community living center.

“We’ll definitely be doing it next year,” Eisenbise said.

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