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Community : Top Stories Last Updated: Nov 20, 2012 - 11:03:27 AM


Community garden to break ground
By Prisha Verrier
Nov 20, 2012 - 11:02:29 AM

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A new island community garden is breaking ground this month, thanks to a generous $5,000 grant from the Daniel Island Community Fund.
“The garden will be for the community and of the community,” says Jacqueline Gowe who, along with Cynthia Rumph, recently held a meeting of the Daniel Island Community Garden Club to help promote the project and discuss the details of the garden’s progress.
“We had to present a plan and a cost to Jane Baker, as a minimum of what we would need to get started,” Rumph explains.
This initial plan calls for ten large raised beds (8’ by 12’), which will each be divided into two plots of 8’ by 6’. The Club asked that one bed be dedicated to the children of Daniel Island (separate from the garden currently under way at the elementary school), as well as a handicap-accessible plot and a “scholarship” plot that could be donated to a family in need.
“The POA really liked these ideas,” Gowe says, “and they were very gracious and gave us a piece of land which is a nice size.”
The grant money will cover all of the start up costs for the garden, which will be located on the property west of Grand Council, in the space along the bike path. Some of these costs include fencing, a pedestrian gate and a double service, or wheelbarrow, gate, and all of the soil. The irrigation system will also be provided by the POA, and will most likely consist of an above ground line situated along the fence with spigots that gardeners can attach their hoses to.
The planting, harvesting and maintenance of each plot will be the responsibility of the community. For an annual fee of $50, an individual or a family can claim one of the 8’ by 6’ beds to care for and garden to their heart’s content, making their own decisions as to whether they want to plant flowers or vegetables, or if they want to grow organic. Some families may choose to partner up or work with their plot neighbor to help tend to one another’s gardens. For example, one gardener may offer to run soaker hoses over the beds in exchange for weeding or tilling.
“The nice thing about having a community garden,” Gowe says, “is we can learn and grow from each other.”
The money collected from the annual fees will be handled by the Community Garden Club for use throughout the year on such items as new materials, soil assessments and any other necessities that may come up. This fee money will also shoulder the costs for amending the plots with mushroom compost and fresh manure at the end of each year, once gardeners have cleared any plants or vegetation that remain in their beds. Compost piles are not currently covered by the initial $5,000 donation, but they are on the Club’s “wish list” as a future project. Paying members will also receive the Club’s newsletter, have the opportunity to attend gardening lectures and workshops, and will be able to serve on the Club’s sub-committees including the Children’s Garden Committee, Handicap Accessible Garden Committee, Beautification Committee and the Fundraising and Event Planning Community.
All of the plots for the garden’s first year have already been filled, and currently there is a waiting list; however, the Club has begun looking into the possibility of adding more beds to the original design since there has been so much interest in the project. A Facebook page (www.facebook.com/DanielIslandCommunityGarden) has been set up to share information and updates, and anyone interested in the community garden or adding their name to the waiting list should feel free to contact Jacqueline Gowe directly at cateringtokids@homesc.com.
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