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Gardening Program

 

The Hardy “HOPE” Garden is a community garden open to the children and families in our neighborhood.

 

The gardening project began in 2012 by converting an unusable 15,000-square-foot plot across the street from the Hardy Center into a viable, productive green space. During the spring of 2014, the entire area was redesigned and divided into individual plots to grow healthy fruits & vegetables. During the summer, edible plants of varied types, from corn, watermelon, sweet potatoes, cucumber, squash, and tomatoes to radishes, onions, broccoli, greens, peas, and carrots, were harvested weekly by the children and their parents, providing an abundance of fresh, healthy fruits & vegetables to supplement their nutritional needs. The “square foot gardening method” used to grow plants is straightforward and productive. A family can produce many of the healthy green vegetables & fruits that would typically be purchased at a grocery store during the entire summer for “free.”

Plans include a beautification project of planting and caring for a botanical flower garden in the current gardening space. Our goals for providing these projects are to guide young people as they work together to build food security in Columbus’ urban communities by:

 

- Creating an interest in growing and caring for a flower garden.

 

- Promoting urban agriculture.

- Encouraging cooperative buying.

- Promoting healthy eating habits.

- Encouraging a lifelong love for gardening and the possible pursuit of careers in agriculture and other food-related sciences.

 

 

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