By Terry Rogers
On Monday, August 14, Blake Moore, CCA, Environmental Specialist with the Delaware Department of Agriculture, presented a plan to Milford City Council for a Community Garden to be located on the northeast corner of the former National Guard Armory on North Walnut Street. The garden is a partnership between Milford Community Gardens and Class IV of LEADelaware, a two-year leadership program that cultivates new generations of leaders in Delaware’s agriculture and natural resources sectors.
“Each class takes on a project during this journey,” Mr. Moore explained. “Their project, Milford Community Gardens, is a newly formed association whose purpose is to operate community gardens around Milford. The association will seek to form partnerships with the community, various businesses and non-profits in order to provide training and resources for gardening, food systems and food safety. LEADelaware Class IV will actively partner with Milford Community Gardens and build a solid foundation for the community garden in the town.”
According to Mr. Moore, the garden will feature a variety of garden beds and native plantings. Raised bed garden plots to include handicap-accessible beds, traditional garden plots, fruit trees and various berry crop plantings are anticipated. The native plantings will be dispersed throughout the garden to attract pollinators and to showcase the beauty of natural landscaping. Construction of the garden will take place this fall and winter with a goal of having it operational by spring 2018.
“Once the garden is completed, we will seek members and partnerships with organizations in Milford,” Mr. Moore said. “LEADelaware Class IV and Milford Community Gardens will also seek partnerships with gardening, food safety and culinary experts to provide education and training to the community garden members. We will need volunteers this fall and winter during the construction phase and we will need volunteers to help build the raised bed garden plots as well as to plant trees and shrubs. Any donations, whether financial or volunteer time are greatly appreciated.”
Small-bed plots will be available for members of the community garden to use on an individual basis and there will also be several large community plots where produce can be shared and donated to local organizations or community members in need.
“Community gardens provide many benefits to the community they serve,” Mr. Moore explained. “The Milford Community Garden will provide plots for community members who do not have the space to garden at their homes. The garden will benefit local non-profits who help community members in need by providing them with fresh produce. The educational and training programs will also feature tips on having a healthier diet by incorporating freshly grown produce. The garden provides opportunities to show the community the journey of the fresh produce we buy in the store; from a seed in the field to a product on a shelf. The community garden is also a place that town folks can come together for a great cause.”
The community garden will be constructed on about four-tenths of an acre next to the old Armory, which is now owned by the City of Milford. The number of raised beds and in-ground plots will be determined based on space and community interest. For more information about the project, contact Mr. Moore at 302-698-4629.
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