The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

June 16, 2013

Community garden to feed needy for second year

ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP — Leaders from Community Action celebrated the second year of a community garden designed to provide fresh food for those in need on Monday during a dedication ceremony.

“A year ago, just by chance, there was a group talking about local food (needs),” said Community Action Executive Director Judith Barris. She said a group of volunteers worked to plant and nurture a garden (on CA property on Austinburg Road) creating vegetables for area soup kitchens and food pantries.

“That just fits the mission of who we are,” Barris said of the agency that seeks to help people become independent.

Carmen Kuula, director of development for CA, said food surveys indicate Ashtabula County has 17.8 percent of the population in a state of “food insecurity.” She said surveys show many people from Ashtabula County don’t get enough daily servings of fresh fruits and vegetables.

“We are in the process of preparing for planting,” Barris said of the garden that will include a wide variety of fresh food including tomatoes, zucchini, watermelons and cucumbers.

A new addition will be added to the garden this fall,” Kuula said. “We have received a grant to construct a “hoop house”,” she said.

The structure will cost about $1,900 and be an alternative greenhouse that will help extend the growing season and increase the amount of fruits and vegetables available to area food banks.

The grant came the from Natural Resources Conservancy Service, Kuula said.

Six area food banks were beneficiaries of the fruit and vegetables last year including the Salvation Army, the Dream Center, G.O. Ministries, Messiah Lutheran church, Faith Lutheran Church and Country Neighbor, Kuula said.

Community Action would love to have more volunteers to help plant, maintain and harvest the garden, organizers said. People willing to deliver the harvest will also be needed.

Anyone interested in helping can call Community Action to make their interest known.

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