Posted on 12 May 2011.
The Cedar Springs FFA has received approval from the School Administration to launch a new “Community Garden Project.” Advisor Larry Reyburn announced that the project is just a beginning to future experiences. “We hope that this marks the first year of an annual event in our community,” he said.
The group plans to prepare garden plots measuring 15 feet x 15 feet, which community members could rent for $20. The renter can then plant a small produce plot that would be tilled by FFA booster members. FFA members have been eagerly anticipating a time when they could bring more agriculture back to their program at Cedar Springs. “I am very excited to help bring more agriculture and community service to our school, but we will need help from our community,” said Brent Willett, local FFA President.
Local farmer and FFA booster Wayne Marsman will be helping the group with soil preparation. The target, weather permitting, is to have the sites ready for planting by the end of May. Several community members have been instrumental in the planning for this activity. Dan Spangenberg, D. White, Rick Sevey, and Dick Winzer have been working with FFA members Brent Willett, Jerry Green, Charles Nelson, and FFA Advisor Mr. Reyburn to bring the project to fruition. “The most difficult part of the process has been to be sure we have all the bases covered for safety and liability for the school,” remarked Reyburn.
“With the big downturn in the economy and the movement toward naturally grown foods, we figured the time is now,” stated Sevey, a local farmer. The project will allow community members to start a fun project, renting and growing their own food plot as long as they follow organic guidelines. Community members can contact Mr. Reyburn for more information or reserve a plot by calling 616-696-1200 (Extension 6131) or emailing Larry.Reyburn@csredhawks.org.
Posted in Diggin' Spring
Posted on 28 April 2011.
Do you like to help people in need? Or maybe just help things grow? North Kent Community Services needs your manpower in their Community Garden! Last year the agency received over 3,570 pounds of fresh vegetables to distribute to families in need. That huge amount of food was planted and harvested by a handful of volunteers, who worked an acre of land to create a Community Garden. The NKCS is the largest food pantry in Kent County and services over 12,000 families. The fresh vegetables were a welcome sight for families who normally received canned or frozen when they pick up groceries.
Merrill Post, of Post Berry Farms, donates the land, on Myers Lake Avenue and 12 Mile Road, where the volunteers plant and harvest. For the third year in a row, Mr. Post has set aside an acre of land that he tills, fertilizes, and waters to make sure that the plants will grow. He even allows the group a space in his own private garden, where a high fence keeps the deer away from the tender bean plants. Post also donates to the NKCS corn, pumpkins, berries and other food that the volunteers do not grow in the Community Garden.
All of the seeds needed for planting are donated by The Cedar Mill in Cedar Springs. Also, several of the group members start seeds in peat pots or flats at home.
This year, there are two specific planting dates already set. Many more volunteers are needed because the goal is to harvest two tons of food this year. If you would like to help, volunteers will meet on Wednesday, May 10, at 7:00 p.m., at Post Farms, 9849 Myers Lake Road, to plant seeds in the greenhouse.
Once the seeds are ready to be transplanted outside, other dates and times will be determined for planting and a schedule will be set for weeding and harvesting. If you love to garden, want to learn more about gardening, need to put in hours for community service at your school, or have a desire to feed people in need, then call Deb McIntyre, volunteer coordinator at the NKCS, at 616-866-3478 ext. 103 Monday–Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. No gardening experience is necessary.
Posted in Diggin' Spring, Featured