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Egos and Community Gardens -

  • Subject: [cg] Egos and Community Gardens -
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 22 Dec 2004 21:12:56 EST

Ya know guys, this is another example of how egos can torpedo even the best 
intentions in Community gardens.....

It's always best to hang those up in the shed when you take the trowel and 
pruners out. 

Adam Honigman

Howell, Grange master fail to agree on garden 
Staff Writer

HOWELL, NJ  - Thanks, but no thanks, is the Southard Grange's reaction to the 
official response to its proposal to build a community garden on 
township-owned land. 

Representatives of the Southard Grange wanted municipal officials to allow 
the Grange to oversee a community garden on about 15 acres of a township-owned 
former farm. 

Grange Master Elaine Taylor, who is an organic farmer residing on 
Maxim-Southard Road near the 31-acre Price farm, made the proposal to the Township 
Council last week on behalf of the Grange members. 

Taylor touted the community garden proposal as something that would give 
people who live in condominiums and apartments, as well as anyone else with an 
interest in gardening, to participate in the activity. She said the project would 
have included workshops and given participants a chance to benefit from the 
expertise of local farmers. 

But it now appears to be a dead issue for the Grange. 

Helene Schlegel, director of the recreation department and of buildings and 
grounds, said she would welcome the involvement of Grange members as township 
volunteers in a community garden project, but not as a private enterprise. 

Taylor was steadfast in the notion that the Grange members would only pursue 
the project if they could do it as a separate entity from the township. 

Schlegel said when she applied for a grant that was used to purchase the 
Price farm she made a community garden one of the proposed uses for the location. 
She said she would be violating the parameters of the grant if any individual 
or group other than the township were permitted to operate any enterprise on 
the property. 

Regarding the Grange's hard stand in the matter, Schlegel's response was, 
"Anyone is welcome to participate in a community garden, but only under the 
auspices of the recreation department." 

Speaking after the Dec. 14 council meeting, Taylor said the Grange would not 
be pursuing the community garden project unless it was "a Grange project, not 
a township project." 

"We regret that we are unable to simply be volunteers for the recreation 
department. We wish them the best in their endeavors," Taylor said. 

According to Taylor, the irony in the situation is the fact that the former 
owner of the Price farm, Margaret Price, was a 50-year member of the Southard 

"We wanted to do this in her name. A reminder. She wanted the land to remain 
a farm," she said. 

Taylor said she felt "blindsided" by Schlegel's response at the Dec. 14 
council meeting when she, Taylor, had been communicating the garden idea to 
township officials for months. 

"We feel that our government is so caught up in the process of governing that 
they are unable to see a good deed," she said. 

The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org

To post an e-mail to the list:  community_garden@mallorn.com

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