Farm to table might be one of the buzz phrases of the time, but we all know that home growers have long celebrated the benefits of harvesting their own fruits and vegetables. Some private and rental properties aren’t conducive to growing, and community gardens fill the void by enabling residents to grow their own produce, herbs and flowers. Writer Sheryl Stillman shines the light on our local community gardens. Happy harvesting!
Since the late 1990s, Plymouth has been home to a community garden, where residents and non-residents alike can rent individual plots to grow herbs, vegetables and annual flowers each season. “Community gardening provides those who may not have space or are looking for ways to help the environment a unique opportunity to reconnect with nature,” says Jerrod Brunelle, Plymouth parks and forestry manager.
Community gardening, which traces back to at least the 19th century when the British government allocated public lots to low-income citizens for growing produce, has been on the rise. According to a 2018 study by the Trust for Public Land, figures for individual plots in city parks have grown more than 44 percent since 2012.
In Plymouth, gardeners are offered 90 single, 14-feet by 14-feet community plots for $45/year for residents and $54/year for non-residents. (Each plot is separated by a wood-chipped walkway.) The fee includes soil preparation, compost, water, garden improvements and related items.
Additionally, waste and compost receptacles are provided and maintained by the city. Reservations began in January for returning gardeners and February for new gardeners. Garden plots are offered on a first come, first served basis. (Plots are at capacity, so check back next year for availability.)
In addition to city property, community gardens can often be found at area churches or schools, where food is grown to distribute to local food shelves.
Plymouth Community Gardens
1145 Shenandoah Lane N.