Plot reservations being accepted for community garden

Purchase your seeds, and get your garden tools and watering can ready.

It’s time to prepare for the fourth year of Seymour’s community garden.

The Greater Seymour Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the garden with Seymour FFA, has announced plot reservations are being accepted for returning pgardeners from 2016.

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If any plots remain March 21, new gardeners may request plots at that time.

There are 60 plots available at the garden next to Margaret R. Brown Elementary School at 550 Miller Lane. A small plot (10-foot-by-20-foot) is $10, and a large plot (20-foot-by-20-foot) is $20.

For the first time last year, all plots were filled, and organizers expect that to happen again.

“It was popular last year, and I believe some people were buying multiple plots, which I think is really cool,” said Monica Boyer, a member of the chamber’s environmental committee.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if we get a lot of returning people requesting plots,” said Tricia Bechman, president of the chamber. “The people that had a plot last year are being contacted, as well.”

Soon, Seymour FFA will till the ground, and volunteers from Cummins Inc. Seymour Engine Plant will help with setup and plotting the ground.

The first day of planting will be April 15, and the garden will remain open from dawn to dusk every day through Oct. 29.

A special kickoff event will be from 9 a.m. to noon April 29 with a rain date of May 6. This event will include gardening information, an FFA plant sale and members of the environmental committee assisting with plot location.

Rules of participation will be given upon registration. Gardeners should maintain their plots and control insects and weeds, and they are prohibited from using herbicides, insecticides and black plastic mulch. Also, only annuals are allowed because the garden is tilled at the end of the season.

Only one person reserved a plot when the community garden started in 2014, but it has grown ever since.

Bechman credits the growth to several things.

“I think people are becoming more aware that that’s an opportunity,” she said. “I think that it has been promoted a little more, and I also think that some of it can be attributed to the growing popularity for local homegrown food. People growing their own food, that cuts down on environmental waste, and it encourages them to be more healthy.”

Boyer and Bechman both said the community garden is a good asset.

“I think that it’s a good thing for people to have access to garden plots that they may not have at their own home or apartment,” Boyer said.

In recent years, nearby apartment complexes have rented plots to grow food and flowers for their residents to use.

“Because there are so many apartments within walking distance, it really allows those people who don’t have a yard to have a place to grow their own food where they might not have had that opportunity,” Bechman said.

Locally, community gardens and farmers markets are growing in popularity.

Seymour’s farmers market was revamped this past year. Also, Crothersville and Medora both have expressed interest in starting community gardens, and a Brownstown group is talking about improving its farmers market.

With Seymour’s community garden reaching capacity in 2016, organizers have talked about opening a second one in the city. But that won’t happen this year, Bechman said.

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Seymour’s community garden is next to Margaret R. Brown Elementary School, 550 Miller Lane.

Plot reservations are being accepted from gardeners from 2016 until March 21. If any plots remain, new gardeners may request them at that time.

The cost is $10 for a single plot (10-foot-by-20-foot) or $20 for a double (20-foot-by-20-foot).

Planting will start April 15 and be accessible from dawn until dusk every day through Oct. 29.

For information or to reserve a garden plot, call the Greater Seymour Chamber of Commerce at 812-522-3681.