Community gardens still growing strong PDF Print E-mail
Written by BILL RYAN Sentinel Garden Editor   
Friday, 12 July 2013 08:45
Rene Tricou (left) and Adam Vaughn working in the community garden at First United Methodist Church in Bowling Green. (Photos: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
For the last several years, there have been two community garden plots at Bowling Green churches.
The Bowling Green Community Gardens are coordinated through The Common Good, a non-profit organization of the United Christian Fellowship.
Two of the most dedicated volunteers were working Wednesday at the garden located at First United Methodist Church on East Wooster St. The other garden is located at Peace Lutheran Church on West Wooster St., near the Bowling Green fire station in that area.
Adam Vaughn serves as the manager/coordinator of the program, he is joined on a regular basis by Rene Tricou. Both are seniors at Bowling Green State University and dedicated to the gardens. The gardens have been function under this format since at least 2009.
Often times there are others who assist in the gardens, but both stress that these gardens are as the name implies for the community.
Donations of seeds, plants, goods, cash and labor keep the gardens growing, literally.
This year's gardens include tomatoes, zucchini squash, peppers, leafy green vegetables, strawberries, kale, onions, radishes, cabbage, broccoli, corn, potatoes, carrots, hers and some wildflowers.
The public is invited to assist with the gardens as well as enjoy some of the produce grown.
There is one scheduled workday at each of the gardens. On Mondays at 6 p.m., there will be volunteers at Peace Lutheran's garden; while the volunteers are regularly at First United Methodist's garden at 9 a.m. on Wednesdays.
For those who may need some guidance, those would be the best times to visit as knowledgeable volunteers will be there to assist. Experienced gardeners are welcome to visit the gardens at any time, as there is always weeding to be done. Tricou says, "The gardens are open to anyone at any time."
Tricou, who will graduate in December, said she always has wanted to grow her own food.
"You are actually growing dollars. What you grow, you don't have to buy," she said.
"You take seeds from your hands and plant them. They go from the earth to my mouth," Tricou added.
She is majoring in psychology with a minor in ethnic studies, so the gardening is definitely just part of her lifestyle. It is important for her to know where her food comes from.
A view of the community garden at Peace Lutheran Church on West Wooster St. in Bowling Green.
"There's a huge difference between buying food at the grocery than planting it yourself," she said.
Vaughn's major is more closely related to the garden. The fifth-year senior is majoring in environmental science with a specialty in sustainable management.
He learned about the gardens through The Common Good and began attending meetings. The previous leader was leaving and no one else showed any interest, so Vaughn said, "I just stepped up to lead."
"People are allowed to just come and take vegetables," Tricou said.
Obviously they expect the people to be respectful to the gardens and of those they serve by only taking what they need.
Volunteers or the public who visit the garden will take some of the items grown for their use. Other fresh items harvested will be distributed through the food pantry at The Common Good.
"We provide them with fresh food and vegetables. There is also a freezer available at the facility so excess items which are able to be frozen are put up for future use.
Vaughn said he took a class earlier this year at the 577 Foundation in Perrysburg on preserving goods. He is planning to take a canning class as well.
Anyone wishing more information or to make any type of donation may contact Vaughn through the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . The organization also has a page on Facebook and Google group.
Information on meetings, work days and what needs to be done can be found at those sites.
They volunteers noted there is always work to be done. After the harvest, they will plant a cover crop to protect the soil for the winter.
"We will be working until it is covered by snow," Vaughn said.
The Common Good, 113 Crim St., is a community center which also offers free community meals, a free space for discussing spirituality, free yoga and meditation, and an after-school program at Crim Elementary.

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