WOOLWICH TWP. — If you procrastinated last year and didn’t sign up in time to get a plot at the Woolwich Township – Swedesboro Community garden, then you know the early bird catches the worm (or should I say seed).
Woolwich Township has just announced its plans for the 2016 growing season and will be accepting applications during the month of March. Now entering its ninth season, the Community Garden will once again be offered to allow residents of Woolwich Township and Swedesboro the opportunity to have their own “mini-farm”.
The 2015 season saw the garden increase to 44 plots from 21 plots in 2014, making it the most successful year since its creation. The 2016 Season is expected to grow even higher with more land being allocated for the garden.
The size of garden plots has historically been 20 foot by 30 foot, but for the first time in the gardens history 20 foot by 15 foot half-plots will also be offered. The cost for the garden is only $30 a season for a full 20 foot by 30 foot plot and $15 for the 20 foot by 15 foot half plot.
The fee also covers the cost to have the plot initially tilled and prepared at the beginning of the growing season through the community service efforts of Joe Maugeri, who is one of our local farmers. Plus, all gardeners have use of the 10 foot by 20 foot storage shed which was donated last season by the Swedesboro Environmental Commission.
In addition, the township for the first time is planning to have running water available instead of the large water tanks that required gardeners to fill watering cans in order to water their gardens. Gardens will now be able to be conveniently watered with the use of garden hoses making the task less strenuous.
Also for the first time, a Community Garden Steering Committee consisting of veteran gardeners, has been established. This Committee will be a group which will facilitate communication, keep gardeners aware of what’s going on, will welcome interesting ideas, and will coordinate and encourage participation in activities and events to make the gardening experience the best that it can be.
However, as with anything, prospective gardeners must agree to a set of guidelines to make the experience a positive one for all. As stated on the application form, “Gardeners understand that this is a community garden and that in order for it to succeed gardener support is needed to maintain the site, manage compost, keep on top of weeds, deal with wildlife, and keep the site debris free”.
While this may sound like a lot to do, if everyone just maintains their own garden plot in this manner and volunteers a little time to maintaining the common areas the entire garden will be a visual masterpiece.
If you are interested in signing up for the Community Garden please contact the Woolwich Township Clerk at (856) 467-2666, extension 3101, or simply stop by the Township Clerk’s office in the Municipal Building to fill out an application.
Returning participants from last season from Woolwich Township and Swedesboro have until March 20 to register in order to obtain the same plot. New participants from Woolwich Township and Swedesboro have until April 1 to register. After April 1 applications from residents of other communities will be accepted for any remaining plots with priority given to returning gardeners from last season.
And remember that “community gardens are spaces where individuals come together to grow food, build relationships, and celebrate their communities”.