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Greenbay, WI: Community No. 12 to Open

  • Subject: [cg] Greenbay, WI: Community No. 12 to Open
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 19 May 2004 07:14:05 EDT

Community garden No. 12 to open

A diverse population is served by the garden program
By Anna Krejci
Brown County residents wishing for a place to grow and harvest their own vegetables soon can make use of the area's 12th and newest community garden.
Last year, the county's 11 community gardens yielded $425,000 of food, according to community garden coordinator Bill Wright, who used a U.S. Department of Agriculture equation to compute the figure.
Wright, other University of Wisconsin Extension representatives and the county executive broke ground for the newest garden, located near the county's Mental Health Center, on Tuesday during a news conference.
"If you have a community garden, people who are 'neighbors' but really don't live next to each other get to meet each other, get to exchange ideas, they can exchange gardening tips, they can exchange recipes, and I just think it builds a better sense of community,." Wright said.
The community garden affords people who live in apartments or whose backyard is not conducive to gardening an opportunity to garden.
Last year, 80 percent of those who used the plots in the county's 11 gardens were Hmong. Two percent were Hispanic and 18 percent were Caucasian, he said.
According to Cathy Huntowski, UW Extension nutrition educator, many gardeners grow plantings used in ethnic foods. Hmong families often grow mustard greens and Hispanic families sometimes grow peppers, different types of tomatoes and herbs to be eaten with beans, she said.
Wright and the UW Extension studied which varieties of popular plants grow best in Green Bay, a study available to the public by contacting the UW Extension office. Plant varieties included egg plant, asparagus, cabbage and mustard greens.
Huntowski said ethnic foods are less expensive if families grow their own. The benefits of the garden are substantial, she said.
"It provides physical activity as well as improves nutrition," she said.
She said there are studies that show children eat more vegetables if they are directly involved with planting them.
Brown County Executive Carol Kelso said the new garden will benefit patients at the Brown County Mental Health Center, which is adjacent to the garden.
"It will be a good opportunity for them to see something growing and enjoy the wonderful summer in Wisconsin," Kelso said.
The county's 12 gardens are open from the middle of May to Oct. 15. Area residents may sign up for the $15 plots at the Mental Health Center Garden at 9 a.m. Saturday. The space remaining in the Mental Health Center Garden and the Oneida Garden, near State 54, together can accommodate about 250 families or individuals.
Sign-up for $35 plots in the Oneida Garden is at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Oneida Garden. Last year's plot holders will have the option of keeping the same plot.
Garden plots at the 1200 block of Perrot Street cost $15. Sign-up begins at 8 a.m. Saturday.
The sign-up for $35 plots on Church Road is at 10 a.m. Saturday, while the sign-up for plots on Elmview Road is at 11:30 a.m.
The $15 plots are 20 feet by 20 feet, and $35 plots are 50 feet by 50 feet.
Brown County Food & Hunger Network, Brown County UW Extension, the city of Green Bay and volunteers operate the gardens, and private donors, the University of Wisconsin System and USDA provide monetary support.

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