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Winona, MN - Journalism Needs Some CG Guidance

  • Subject: [cg] Winona, MN - Journalism Needs Some CG Guidance
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 5 Apr 2005 02:22:13 EDT


This newly minted Minnesota Master Gardener/Journalist wrote this piece in 
the Winona Daily News. For all the world, he looks like someone who needs a 
local MN community gardener to reach out to him and give him some guidance in 
setting up a community garden. 

Best wishes, 
Adam Honigman
Clinton Community Garden

Story originally printed in the Winona Daily News or online at 
Why not become a Friendly Neighbor?

By David Krotz / Winona Daily NewsI have an idea, but I don't know if it is 
an idea past its prime or an idea for which the time has come.

One of the responsibilities of a Master Gardener intern is 50 hours of 
volunteer time devoted to sharing University of Minnesota-developed horticultural 
knowledge and assisting with projects.

Even before I participated in the training program recently, I wanted to try 
out my idea, maybe even use it for some of my volunteer hours. Now I'm going 
to run it up the flagpole or plant it by the arbor, so to speak.

It began with me living in a studio apartment and feeling the need to grow 
things. I wondered if this city has community gardens, like my hometown of Cedar 
Rapids, Iowa.

I checked and found out I got here too late. Winona used to have community 
garden space somewhere in the general area where the Menard's store now sits, I 
was told. But no community gardens any more. Not very progressive, I thought.

Why couldn't the city find some space or corporate citizens for that matter? 
Land otherwise lying fallow could be turned to flowers and vegetables and a 
healthy connection to the land for residents increasingly distant from their 
agrarian heritage.

That's when I developed the concept of the Friendly Neighbor Program.

The idea is this: People with extra or unused garden space make it available 
to a neighbor up the street to grow a few things.

Then I heard from a co-worker about a 31-year-old mother of four doing 
exactly that. Winonan Jennifer Mars had a lot of room for a garden and invited her 
friends to share the space with her.

"I just have always thought, if you have more than enough, you should share," 
she said. "For people without enough money, it's a way to have fresh 
vegetables and supplement your budget."

Mars came to gardening late in life, at age 16 as part of a science project 
in school. Now she loves it and her kids do, too.

"Gardening is a great way to get outside with them and show results. See 
pumpkins growing. They get really excited. Last year, my daughter grabbed a basket 
and said, bI'm going out to pick tomatoes, Mom,' and she was so happy.

"I encourage anyone with extra space to invite others to help garden with 
them. It's economical and it's a stress reliever," Mars said.

Couldn't have explained it better myself.

So here is the idea, and I'll make it easy for you. If you have extra garden 
space to share, small or large, or you would like to have a place to grow a 
few things, contact me by letter or e-mail and say how much space you would like 
to offer or till.

I will serve as the connecting agent and try to match people in the same 
general areas of town. Anonymity will be preserved and land owners and gardeners 
can interview each other to see if they can work it out.

If a business or anyone else is willing to devote a large area to community 
gardening, contact me, too, and maybe we can develop a plan.

Contact reporter David Krotz at dkrotz@winonadailynews.com or Winona Daily 
News, P.O. Box 5147, Winona, MN 55987-0147.


All stories copyright 2000, 2001, 2002 Winona Daily News and other attributed 

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