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Mt. Pleasant, Michigan: Business offers a Community Garden

  • Subject: [cg] Mt. Pleasant, Michigan: Business offers a Community Garden
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Sat, 15 Apr 2006 10:06:49 EDT

 (http://staging.themorningsun.com/) Friends,
 
This is intriguing and as far as I know, unique. 
 
Adam Smith's invisible hand is at work, and this time is creating a  
community garden. 
 
 Consumer demand and information shared over the Internet have  inspired an 
entrepreneur to create a community garden, as a way of  utilizing land on his 
converted, working family farm.  
 
From the article attached below:  
"A few people have been asking about community gardens and Paul Gross from  
the (local) MSU Extension Office said they also get a lot of calls," said Bill  
Miller Jr., son of Bill "Papa" Miller and general manager. "I was doing some  
Internet research about it and found out that this is huge in Europe. Where  
they exist (in the U.S.) like Ann Arbor and California, they are also very  
popular."  
This is a link to the business: _http://www.papasfamilyfarm.com/_ 
(http://www.papasfamilyfarm.com/)  and  to the community garden: 
_http://www.papasfamilyfarm.com/garden.htm_ (http://www.papasfamilyfarm.com/garden.htm)  
This is a start up, and while the paradigm that we have all known has been  
for community gardens to be started on rubble strewn urban wastelands,   on 
public parkland, or as in Europe, allotments on the outskirts of cities and  
towns.  
For a family farmer to set up community garden plots as a "cash crop,"  is 
unique - renting out the south 40 to folks who don't have land to grow  veggies 
and flowers. If it helps him keep his farm and gets people gardening,  it 
seems to be one of the win-win's we're always looking for 
Regards,  
Adam Honigman 

Business offers a community garden


By I_AN PATRICK  GRAY_ (mailto:igray@michigannewspapers.com) 
Sun Staff  Writer

Local gardening  enthusiasts who live in apartments or otherwise do not own 
enough property  to indulge their green thumbs until recently had to make do 
with cramped  window boxes in the kitchen window.  
Beginning this year, however, gardeners can stretch their agricultural  wings 
with a community garden plot at Papa's Pumpkin Patch and Country  Farm 
Market, 3909 S. Summerton Road, near Mt. Pleasant.  
"A few people have been asking about community gardens and Paul Gross  from 
the (local) MSU Extension Office said they also get a lot of calls,"  said Bill 
Miller Jr., son of Bill "Papa" Miller and general manager. "I  was doing some 
Internet research about it and found out that this is huge  in Europe. Where 
they exist (in the U.S.) like Ann Arbor and California,  they are also very 
popular."  
Papa's is offering prospective gardeners plots of farmland starting at  20 
feet by 20 feet. Cost for the 400 square foot plots is $40 (10 cents  per square 
foot) for the season with a discount (5 cents per square foot)  for larger 
plots.  
"I guess that in California there are people who live in apartments  their 
whole lives and don't have the room to garden. They do this their  whole lives," 
Miller said. "And in Europe, community gardens are a way of  life. We hope to 
make it a social event here too."  
Plots are available on a first come, first serve basis, Miller said.  
"There's not really a limit to how many we have; we've got a lot of  area 
here," Miller said. "We plowed it all last week. We'll have it all  worked up and 
ready to go when people start planting."  
Gardeners are responsible for their own tools and for the cleanup of  their 
areas, Miller said. Any chemicals or fertilizers also are the  renters' 
responsibility, but the manager retains final approval over any  such items.  
The Pumpkin Patch will provide the land, irrigation water, compost  area, 
clean rest rooms close to the gardening area, shelter from inclement  weather, 
bees to pollinate the plants, and gardening assistance. Miller is  finishing up 
a Master Gardening course through the Isabella County MSU  Extension office.  
Children are encouraged, but must be accompanied by the plot owner.  
"This really promotes gardening with kids," Miller said. "Kids see the  seed 
go in the ground and then when it starts to come up they are like,  'Wow, look 
at what it's doing.'"  
The future of the garden will depend in part on the reception this  year, but 
Miller hopes to expand it.  
"It evolves as people suggest things," he said. "Eventually, we hope to  have 
a community shed to store tools. And if we have to expand the  program, we 
will. The hope is for this to be long-term."  
The farm doesn't officially open until April 29, with the farm's  asparagus 
festival, but Miller said someone would be available to answer  any questions 
or to accommodate the early planters.  
Contracts for the community garden are available through the farm or at  the 
MSU extension office in the Isabella County building.  
For more information, call (989) 773-7750 or check out the Web site at:   
www.papasfamilyfarm.com.  


Click here to return to story:
_http://www.themorningsun.com/stories/041506/loc_garden001.shtml_ 
(http://www.themorningsun.com/stories/041506/loc_garden001.shtml) 


______________________________________________________
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