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Inch by inch, row by row: Home and community gardeners harvest more than a crop

For people without a yard " or who want a large, sun-drenched piece of land with good organic soil " community gardens are the way to go.

Capital District Community Gardens has 45 locations and a total of 3,000 gardeners.

"We're mostly serving folks in the inner city, who have no backyard," said Amy Klein, executive director of CDCG. There are some plots in some suburban towns, and some are on the edges of towns and draw suburban gardeners.

"The community gardens are different things for different people," Klein said.

"Some sustain families "we estimate that most of our gardeners grow $1,000 worth of produce in their plots."

Klein echoed Giniecki's sentiments.

"People are interested in growing their own food," she said. "There's a health issue with produce grown close together, with chemicals and pesticides applied. Community gardens are organic, so you're not creating toxic waste.

Also, produce itself is healthy and people are concerned with eating healthy food. You can deal with the scares associated with produce that comes from other countries by growing your own."

In Guilderland, the community gardens located at Tawasentha Park provide more than food.

"People keep their plots from year to year," said Guilderland's Parks and Recreation Director Dennis Moore, who started the community garden about 10 years ago.

"A lot of Guilderland residents don't own their own homes and this lets them garden. We have about 50 gardeners, and it's as much a social thing as gardening."

In the Guilderland gardens, transplanting, protecting and planting anew was the order of the day during the Memorial Day weekend.

"I like being outside with nature," said Eve Gannon as she pointed out her asparagus plants and talked about the tomatoes, the cukes and the squash she'd grow that summer in her Tawasentha plot.

Margaret and Albert Rusch tucked landscape fabric around their plants.

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