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Garden to help feed Medina County seniors

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MEDINA — Feeding Medina County’s community garden has been providing fresh produce for seniors in need during the summer months for nearly seven years.

Chick Master Incubator Co. rents the plot at 901 Lafayette Road to Feeding Medina County for $1 a summer for the garden.

“It’s completely organic, and there are no pesticides used or anything like that,” said Sandy Hinkle, Feeding Medina County’s executive director.

Members of Feeding Medina County meet at the beginning of the year to plan the garden and now it’s time for some green thumbs to get their hands dirty with a little work. Planting day is set for 8:30 a.m. Saturday.

“Pretty much, the past couple years, we’ve kept it to squash, zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes, peppers, green beans, beets and swiss chard,” Hinkle said. “We don’t have a huge variety of produce. If we have a smaller selection, we are able to plant more to feed more people.”

Last year, as many as 50 people helped to plant the produce. The organization is welcoming volunteers again this year.

People also can volunteer at the garden throughout the summer with weeding, watering and harvesting. The organization will then distribute produce to nine senior centers in the county.

“My first goal is to make sure the seniors get fresh produce because that’s an item that’s expensive and they can’t afford it,” Hinkle said.

Fresh produce isn’t the only thing the community garden provides. In recent years, beehives have been added and they have a positive effect on the produce.

“Two years ago, we had beehives put on our property,” Hinkle said. “What happened last year with three hives on our property, we went from 1,500 pounds of produce the year before to 3,000 pounds last year because of the bees pollinating.”

In addition to increasing the amount of produce Feeding Medina County can distribute, they also get to keep the nearly 32 pounds of fresh honey to distribute as well.

“There is no funding for this,” Hinkle said. “This is run on the generosity of people. We don’t collect money or anything like that. I mean, if someone wanted to donate ,we do have a garden fund.”

In regards to the planting day Saturday, Hinkle said all kinds of people love to come out and help plant — from Scout troops to families.

“Hopefully, we won’t get rained out, but if we do we schedule it for next weekend,” Hinkle said.

For more information, visit www.feedingmedinacounty.org.

Contact reporter Alyssa Alfano at (330) 721-4063 or aalfano@medina-gazette.com.


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