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Watch your (and your neighbor’s) garden grow

Capital District Community Gardens offers gardening plots, community spirit

A gardener harvests carrots in Capital District Community Gardens’ Normanskill Farm Garden.

A gardener harvests carrots in Capital District Community Gardens’ Normanskill Farm Garden.

— “People in Delmar know the deer eat everything and it is really shady so it’s hard to grow,” he said. “There’s a big fence around the garden and the plots are large so you can grow things like corn. … Most people can’t do that in their little yards.”

Smith said the gardeners at Normanskill are like a big family who help each other with problems and even share crops on occasion.

“You can walk up to almost anyone and ask for tips. It’s a community so people are very open to sharing,” he said. Everyone is very nice and it’s a supportive environment to learn to garden in.”

Klein said there are programs and materials available through the organization to help new gardeners and staff members are always on hand if someone has questions.

For the upcoming season, nine classes are scheduled for “The Know to Grow” Garden Education series, which focuses on organic practices, and there are five classes planned for “The Homemade Series,” which develops culinary and canning skills for harvest management. Fifteen classes are scheduled for “The Demo Series,” which concentrates on technical skills like weed management.

Those who would secure a plot for this season will need to attend a one-hour orientation session to learn how the community garden works and place a minimum $30 donation. No one who is interested in a plot is turned away because of an inability to pay, though.

“We’ll work with someone to se what they can afford to donate, or if other people can afford to donate more then that money will go towards someone’s plot who is in need,” said Klein.

Those who choose to garden through the organization will join about 4,000 other people in the Capital District. The hope is to educate people on the benefits of healthy eating in a social setting.

“This way you get the added benefit to interact with people from different backgrounds and cultures that you might not encounter in everyday life,” said Klein.

To learn more, call 274-8685 or visit www.cdcg.org.

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