Centenary Methodist Church offers free plots in community garden
Published 8:40 am Tuesday, April 25, 2023
BY FIONA MORGAN
Centenary United Methodist Church is opening their community garden on April 29. They are offering free plots for anyone in the community to plant things in the garden.
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Plots that are 10 by 10 feet will be available for planting between April 29 and Sept. 23. It’s open to both church members and anyone in the community. People can register by going to danvillecmc.org/community-garden, or find registration forms at the church, which is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday at 1441 Perryville Road.
The church started this garden in 2022 as a way to utilize the church’s 20 acres of land for something that can benefit the community. CUMC Associate Pastor John Duff said last year that he had heard from some church members wanting a community garden, and they used some of it for food donations.
Last year, half of the garden was designated for people to plant whatever food or flowers they want, and the other half was designated for donations to New Hope Food Pantry in Danville.
This year, they will have the same amount of land available, but they hope to use more of it, as they only used about half of what was open to community members last year. There are 35 plots available.
Duff said the garden is roughly half church members and half community members. People can plant all kinds of vegetables and flowers, including squash, basil, cucumbers, potatoes, thyme, tomatoes, peppers, green beans, sunflowers and other flowers.
“We hope to put more pollinator plants in the back to benefit the animals that need the pollen,” Duff said.
The program welcomes new gardeners, as church members will be helping people in need of gardening tips. However, Duff said they don’t have a whole lot of training, and cautions people about how much work is required to keep up their gardens.
Anyone who claims a plot will sign a contract saying that they agree to take proper care of their plots all summer. Duff explained that if one person doesn’t weed their plot, weeds can spread to other plots around it and affect the rest of the garden.
Last year, a few church members had to do significant work to care for a few people’s plots that were neglected.
“We are working to make sure that everyone knows what they are signing up for and the work entailed,” Duff said. “We will make sure we message folks who aren’t caring for their plot, and will till it up if they don’t respond in a timely manner.”
On opening day on April 29, there will be people at the church who can help gardeners get started. Workers at the Boyle County Extension Agency are also willing to help with tips and ideas.
They are also putting in a water spigot closer to the garden, so it will be easier for gardeners to get water to their plants.
The garden got started at the direction of mainly church members, including local farmer Spencer Guinn, Mort Hoagland, and Duff’s wife, Charlotte Abel. Last year, Hoagland tended to the food pantry side of the garden, helping donate about 700 pounds of fresh vegetables to New Hope Food Pantry.
This year, Charlotte is taking a bigger role in running the garden. Duff said she is passionate about gardening and helping people care for the earth.
People can reach the garden team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or texting 502-617-3077.