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Interest in Wildwood Community Garden is Growing

Wildwood city officials will host a planning meeting on Tuesday at city hall regarding a proposed community garden. Local gardens demonstrate the growth of the interest in "slow food" and locally grown food all over the country.

For residents longing to grow their own veggies, flowers and herbs, but who don’t have a good space for a garden, Wildwood city representatives have the answer.  A new 5,000 square foot community garden has been proposed to be built at the southwest corner of Taylor Road and Main Street in the city's Town Center.

For all who are interested in Wildwood's community garden, there will be a planning meeting on April 5 at 6:30 p.m. at .

The parcel of space will be divided into small individual plots, and residents will be able to buy a plot for the season. It will be up to each participant to maintain their space, including planting, weeding, watering and harvesting.  Organizers hope that knowledgeable community volunteers who become associated with the garden will be able to educate less experienced gardeners.

The announcement of the community garden follows a national trend that has been under way for several years. For example, the  on their property, and organizational meetings have been held. 

Several important elements are contributing to this gardening trend. Economic factors have many families worried about putting food on the table.  Perhaps they remember their parents or grandparents talking about how they survived the Great Depression by having a big garden.  As a result of influences, such as the "slow food movement," seed companies are seeing as much as 40 percent increases in sales from previous years according to industry statistics. 

Concerns about food safety and the interest in more natural foods are two other factors shaping this trend. Some consumers indicate they are starting to read more labels and pay more attention to from where their food is coming.  Farmers markets and organic farms, too, are growing in the United States.

Community garden organizer Joe Vujnich, director of planning and parks for Wildwood, said a good response to the announcement about the new community garden has occurred. "Over 20 responses have come in so far, and we think the upcoming meeting will bring a lot more people interested in participating."

Not only will the new garden offer an opportunity to eat healthy food, but it’s a great opportunity to meet neighbors who share interests in gardening.  “This is an activity to bring people together in this large community,” said Vujnich. 

The math of gardening makes sense, too. A $3 packet of seeds can yield 5 pounds of lettuce, 8 pounds of green beans, 20 pounds of carrots or 120 summer squash. One tomato plant can yield more than 10 pounds of tasty tomatoes.

The city has posted an online survey through which residents can participate in the planning of the community garden.

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