The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

May 17, 2013

Community gardens gain ground

(Continued)

Composting is another large component of the project. Compost — made up of nearly anything that will decompose, said volunteer Dave Centz — keeps the weeds down and recycles what’s already growing in the garden.

“It’s both a fertilizer and weed control,” Centz said. “Instead of buying something commercial, you can use what you otherwise would have thrown away or gone into the landfill and recycle it.”

On the far end of the gardens, Kohl’s volunteers worked on the land, preparing it for potatoes and corn. The other half will be used for pumpkin and squash.

“The produce will go to nonprofits that provide food, such as the crisis center, Lord’s Cupboard and the food bank,” Wilson said. “It’s a good way to not only reduce cost but to introduce fresh and healthy food.”

If volunteers would like to tackle a specific project, they should contact the United Way, Wilson said. Otherwise, the community is welcome to wander freely through the gardens to observe the work or get their hands dirty in the beds.

Volunteers will also begin working on constructing elevated beds, which will sit 3 feet off the ground, making it easier for those who cannot bend over or areas where the soil cannot be used to garden to still have a way to garden and grow produce at home.

To follow reporter Chelsea Davis on Twitter, head to @ChelseaLeeDavis.

 

 

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