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Bonne Terre, MO: New Senior Center Community Garden

  • Subject: [cg] Bonne Terre, MO: New Senior Center Community Garden
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 5 Apr 2004 23:50:30 EDT

Garden plots already attracting applicants
By TERESA RESSEL\Bonne Terre, MO Daily Journal Staff Writer
BONNE TERRE -- About a half dozen people have expressed interest in a community garden the city plans to start.
City Manager Larry Hughes, Council Member Janet Barton and St. Francois County Health Center Director Diane Williams took applications from interested gardeners Thursday morning at the senior center.
The city plans to prepare a space for a community garden near the water tower in the city park. The garden project, including the seeds and the equipment, will be funded through a Department of Health Cardiovascular grant.
The garden will be geared for senior citizens, 55 years old and older, as a way for them to get exercise and eat healthier foods. Applications can be picked up at city hall. For more information, call 358-2254.
Hughes said they hope to have the garden plots ready within a month. He said they are waiting to find out how many plots to make and where to put it.
Tennie Evans was one of the seniors applying for a garden plot Thursday afternoon. She said she doesn't have enough good space at home to plant a garden.
"I love to get out in the yard -- it's my hobby," she said.
She plans to plant a few vegetables in her garden plot, which will be 4 foot wide by 8 to 16 foot long.
"Fresh vegetables taste better than what you can buy," she said.
Evans said she might get her son to help her with the gardening.
Barton said the land will be prepared for the gardeners. In addition to providing the seeds and equipment, the city will also provide water for irrigation.
Barton is encouraging seniors to share their plots with their family. Plots can also be maintained by a church group or organization.
Most of the people who signed up for a plot on Thursday indicated they would be sharing the plot with their spouse or extended family. One couple new to the area signed up to share a garden plot.
Barton said gardeners can plant just about whatever they want.
"It'll be nice if people just want to plant flowers," she said.
Most of the people who signed up indicated they wanted to plant vegetables like green beans and squash. One person plans to plant marigolds and sunflowers.
Barton said it will give seniors a chance to interact with others and share gardening tips. She hopes a farmer's market will eventually start up in Bonne Terre.
Each gardener will be responsible for the care and maintenance of their garden for the entire growing season. Gardeners can do whatever they want with the food they grow.
She added that city workers or community groups will be able to care for the garden if a person becomes ill or goes on vacation. Individuals need to contact Janet Barton or city hall for this service.

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