Spring of 2017 is upon us and plans to revitalize the community gardens at Windsor Crescent, a rental community located in Jackson, NJ are underway. The residents are excited to begin the growing season and prepare the ten raised beds for planting. The program is a collaboration between Community Investment Strategies, BEAM, Building Empowerment Advancing Mobility, a non-profit corporation and Groundwork Elizabeth’s Community Gardening Program. A common vision of “changing places, changing lives” inspires the plan created for Windsor Crescent.
There is much preparation required before planting begins. The residents were eager to begin weeding and cleaning up the beds before spreading new topsoil, compost and fertilizer. It is a labor of love for many of the residents and their children as they learn how to garden, harvest and prepare healthy, nutritious foods that they have grown.
This year, a water saving irrigation system was installed for the drought conditions during the hottest summer months. Once preparations were complete, the fruits and vegetables were planted by the residents. The plant selection chosen with input from the residents include tomatoes, eggplant, pepper, cucumber, basil, beans, mint and strawberries.
The goal of this garden is to engage the residents and provide the educational, environmental and nutritional benefits of gardening. We are so excited to share in this worthwhile initiative that allows the participants to reap the “fruits” of their labor and take pride in maintaining the garden.