Heritage, GA: Agriculture Commissioner Plants First Veggies InCommunity Garden
- Subject: [cg] Heritage, GA: Agriculture Commissioner Plants First Veggies InCommunity Garden
- From: Adam36055@aol.com
- Date: Wed, 6 Apr 2005 01:28:38 EDT
Would that the NYC Agriculture, or USDA Secretary did the same!
Clinton Community Garden, NYC.
Georgia agriculture commissioner plants first veggies in Heritage Community
By Aisha I. Jefferson
Kneeling on his right knee, Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin
planted the first heirloom vegetables in the Heritage Village Community Garden at
The 75-year-old, long-serving commissioner did not appear to have problems
planting the vegetables, despite some teasing from onlookers.
"I still live on a farm," Irvin said in response to one man joking that he
forgot how to plant vegetables.
Irvin's visit celebrated the garden's second spring, and also garnered
appearances by the Henry County commissioners, Locust Grove Mayor Lorene Lindsey,
McDonough Mayor Richard Craig, Heritage Village Community Garden members, Henry
County Master Gardeners Association members and other Henry County residents.
The Heritage Village Community Garden at Heritage Park allows seniors who are
at least 55 the opportunity to plant various vegetables that are healthy for
them, socialize with fellow gardeners and exercise, Glenda Garris, president
of Community Gardens of Henry County, the group that invited Irvin, said.
The garden is located adjacent to the historic Heritage Park Village on Lake
Dow Road in McDonough.
The Heritage Village Community Garden is part of the Community Gardens of
Henry County Inc., a non-profit volunteer organization whose mission is to serve
the residents of Henry County by promoting the community through gardening.
The Heritage Village Community Garden was created last year through the joint
efforts of Community Gardens of Henry County and the county commissioners.
Irvin said gardening is important because it offers good and balanced
"There is a produce market in every major supermarket, but that product may
have come from who knows where, but if you grow it and pick it, it's fresh,"
said Irvin, who grew up the son of sharecroppers in White County. "And we know
fresh is best."
Marie Padovani, 64, a Heritage Village Community Gardener, is from the Bronx,
N.Y., and spoke about how there was one tree on her block and how she kept
one plant on her apartment's fire escape. Padovani, who moved to Georgia seven
years ago, said she was grateful for having the opportunity to garden, and said
her 7-year-old granddaughter joins her occasionally.
"It's so healthy for you - the mind, body and the spirit, it encompasses
everything," Padovani said about gardening on "God's good earth."
McDonough resident Mary Ann Engsprom and Stockbridge resident Susan Patterson
reminisced about how the vision for the Heritage Village Community Garden
"Fred Conrad (with Atlanta Community Food Bank) spoke and had a slide show
about community gardens in Atlanta, and Glenda moved to the front of her chair
and turned to us and other master gardeners and said 'I can do that in Henry
County.'" Engsprom said.
Patterson is president of the Henry County Master Gardeners, and said the
garden has provided a great opportunity for people in Henry County.
Garris, Patterson and Engsprom said they have been gardening their entire
Garris, who is humbled by the accolades her friends have bestowed onto her,
said gardening is her passion and said understanding how beneficial it could be
for the community is why she wanted to have the Heritage Village Community
"It creates a beautiful spot for people in the park who come," Garris said.
"I had a mother tell me her children would rather come to the garden than go to
For more information about the Heritage Garden, call (770) 954-0000.
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