Mt. Pleasant Community Garden volunteers share gift of fresh produce

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NORTH CANTON, Ohio — If you want to know how a garden grows, don’t ask Mary, Mary, quite contrary, ask the volunteers at the Mount Pleasant Community Garden.

Since 2011, the garden’s volunteers have donated more than 43,000 pounds of fresh produce to the Stark County Hunger Task Force, assisting them in alleviating hunger through their 32 food pantries.

Started by church

In 2011, the Mount Pleasant Church of the Brethren planted a 100-by-100 foot garden under the supervision of the Master Gardeners program of the Ohio State University Extension office.

Its purpose was to use church resources, nurture relationships within the church family as well as within the community and to meet a community need.

In its first year, the garden yielded 1,723 pounds of fruits and vegetables, which were donated to the Stark County Hunger Task Force’s emergency food pantry located inside the Goodwill Campus in downtown Canton. The following year, the garden grew to just over an acre.

Since then, community volunteers and church members have tended the garden, donating all the produce to the 27,000 food-deficient people who are served by the Stark County Hunger Task Force each month.

Individuals, clubs, organizations, youth groups, and other churches are welcome to help with this charitable work. Opportunities include planting, trellising certain vegetables, pruning, weeding, harvesting and weighing the produce.

Individual plots

Additionally, individual plots were added to the garden in 2013 and increased in 2014. Plots are available for personal use, but would also make a great service project for businesses and other organizations. Food grown could be donated to a family in need or to any of the local food pantries.

Tilled plots are 10-by-20 feet and can be reserved with a $10 deposit. The deposit will be returned at the end of the season, providing the garden has not been abandoned and it is cleaned up when the season is over. Tools and inputs are the gardener’s responsibility. Water and the initial tillage is supplied by the church.

The Mount Pleasant Community Garden is located at 4152 Mount Pleasant Street, N.W., North Canton, and is an outreach ministry of Mt. Pleasant Church of the Brethren.

For information email Julie Myers at gardening@msn.com for more information, or visit Mt. Pleasant Community Garden on Facebook.

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