Friday, April 19, 2013

Hershey Wants YOU--To Start Gardening!

Come out and be a part of the Hershey Community Garden! 

Have you ever wanted to make a little garden, but didn't have the resources or space? Well, look no further! The Hershey Community Garden is the answer you have been looking for.  The 1-acre plot of land will contain 101 plots that are available to members of the Hershey area.

There will be a tool shed full of materials needed to maintain a garden.  Slated to open in the spring of 2014, the garden is being created to allow community members to help each other and develop a sense of pride and integrity for a common cause. 

There is no cost for the plots (that are available in 4 sizes) for your gardening needs.  A small optional donation will be accepted if the plot owners so desire.  Fruits or vegetables produced in the plot can be used for personal use or donated to local causes. 

Community gardens are not a new concept. During WWII, they were dubbed "victory gardens" to help in the war effort.  San Francisco was a city that took full advantage of the garden craze and is still seen as a leading city in terms of urban agriculture.  In fact, community gardens are on the rise with a 19% increase in community gardens since 2009. 

The town of Hershey wants YOU--to start gardening! Stay tuned for more information about receiving an application to get your very own plot in the community garden. 

"Like" our Facebook page to say current on all information regarding the Hershey Community Garden.


Why Create a Community Garden in Hershey?

There is an electricity around the Hershey Community Garden Project.  The anticipated opening for the community garden is in Spring of 2014, but much work must be completed before next spring.

A community garden can be constructed for many reasons.  However, this project needs many helping hands to make it a reality.  The major benefit of establishing a community garden is that community families, groups, or individuals can produce their own food at little cost.  This saves quite a bit of money on grocery bills and allows families to eat produce that they have grown themselves.  Studies have show that people are more likely to eat food that they have grown themselves.  This would be a great opportunity to make a New Year's Resolution to eat healthier by getting a plot in the Hershey Community Garden!

In addition, gardening has been shown to be therapeutic.  Who would have thought that getting a 'green thumb' can improve your mental and physical health? Gardening also provides exercise, fresh air, and weekly physical activity that community members may not receive on a regular basis.  Some physicians may even prescribe gardening as a preventative measure to fighting illnesses.

Community gardens also have the potential to improve the environment.  Water that is filtered through the community garden helps to keep lakes, streams, and rivers clean.  Community gardens also restore oxygen into the air and help reduce pollution.  Food waste from local businesses can be composted and used as fertilizer in the community garden.  The garden provides a full circle of benefits for many parts of a working community.

Finally, a community garden fosters a sense of community and belonging.  By working together for a common purpose, community gardeners can learn to make communal decisions, solve problems, and work togetherer to benefit the greater good.  Collective garden increases the sense of ownership in a town and fosters the development of community identity and spirit. 

Now the question is--what is your reason to get involved?

~J.C. and H.Y.

Reasons to Become Involved in the Hershey Community Garden

Much planning has gone into designing the Hershey Community Garden.  With a 1-acre area that will contain 101 plots, this project will truly encompass all community members and offer an opportunity to learn more about gardening and how produce is grown.  The community garden is a chance for neighbors to come together and celebrate urban agriculture and locally-grown produce. 

Here is a list of reasons and ways that YOU can get involved today!

  • Visit other successful community gardens (Mechanicsburg has quite a successful community garden)
  • Discuss the Hershey Community Garden with local groups, friends, and family
  • Learn about the benefits of participating a community garden
    • Cultural connections with neighbors
    • Improved quality of life
    • Increased physical activity
    • Improved eating habits
    • Learning how to care for fruits & vegetables
    • Inflencing others to grown their own food
  • Plan to attend the Kick-Off Ceremony for the Hershey Community Garden in September 2013
  • Stay tuned for more information via this blog and the Hershey Community Garden Facebook page.
The purpose of this garden is to bring the community together to promote healthy lifestyles, locally-grown produce, and practical gardening techniques.  The garden will serve many different ages, ethnicities, occupations, and organizations.  This is a unique project that will be exciting to watch unfold!

Stay tuned for more information on how to apply for a garden plot!


Thursday, April 18, 2013

What is the Hershey Community Garden?

The purpose of this blog is to give community members more information about the upcoming community garden that is being planned for the Hershey community.  Please be sure to "like" Hershey Community Garden on Facebook and check back for frequent updates.

Let's start at the beginning.  This garden was the vision of one individual and has now developed into a comprehensive plan to bring the community together.  Some fast facts about the Hershey Community Garden are as follows:
  • The Hershey Community Garden will be open for its first season in Spring of 2014.
  • The garden will be located behind the Hershey Medical Center near the Life Lion helipad.
  • 101 garden plots (in various sizes) will be available for Hershey community members.
  • The application process for garden plots will begin on October 1st.  There is no fee to apply, but an optional $25 donation is offered.
In regards to the design and set-up of the garden, the intention is to be a community gathering place complete with a gazebo, picnic area, and restrooms.  Plot holders will have a tool shed to store their supplies as well as lighted parking areas and security fences for the deer population. 

A plot can be used for many purposes.  Groups may apply for a plot to raise produce for the local food bank or a family in need.  A family could use a plot to teach their children how to grown fruits and vegetables.  The opportunities are endless and the garden aims to serve as many different groups as possible.

Keep checking back for more information and don't forget to "like" Hershey Community Garden on Facebook to be alerted to current happenings with the garden!