Monday, April 7, 2014
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa.-- The people behind the Westminster College Field Station are putting out the call for individuals or groups wanting to use community garden plots this year.
Plots will be available beginning spring 2014 to all individuals and groups of the community who are serious and responsible caretakers of the soil and plants that come from the soil. They envision the community garden as a friendly place for anyone who wishes to grow healthy food, increase knowledge of soil science and stewardship, get to know neighbors, put food on tables and even sell or donate produce to others. Well maintained gardens and plants will keep the memory of Meg Rankin, Westminster class of 1986, alive.
Although community gardening has been going on at the Field Station for several years, 2014 marks the beginning of a new era thanks to the benevolence of the Meg Rankin Estate. The gardening area has been thoroughly tilled and marked into plots of 360 and 450 square feet. In the past year, the entire Rankin Garden and Nursery has been fully enclosed with a chain-link fence, water has been brought in and a tool shed erected. Organizers expect those interested in gardening in the Meg Rankin plots will come to love the soil and the plants that can be grown in an "organic" fashion.
What this means is that each gardener is expected to:
- use only biodegradable mulches (newspaper, shredded paper, straw, stable waste, wood chips)
- use no insecticides or herbicides
- place organic rubbish into designated bin
- use water judiciously
Organizers ask that each gardener:
- keep plants well-manicured and growing within the confines of the plot (vining plants will need to be regularly trimmed)
- control weeds
- use only attractive small-mesh fencing for the plot IF this is desired
- place in the plot only attractive trellises or other objects/flags IF desired
- keep in place the installed stakes that mark the plots
- keep all pathways clear for mowers (put no rocks or clumps on the pathways)
- respect the plots of fellow gardeners
- notify the Director if there are problems in the garden plots
- remove materials from the plot by November 1stAND agree with a signature to the above expectations.
For at least this first year of the Rankin community gardening project, there will be no charge to claim a plot or have unlimited access to the garden.
In order to reserve a plot or have questions answered, contact Clarence Harms, Director of the Field Station at 724-946-6001 or e-mail Dr. Clarence Harms.