Home Featured News Growing Pains at the Community Garden

Growing Pains at the Community Garden

Leslie Konyndyk, a lead volunteer at the Garfield Park Community Garden.

Now that the garden’s been tilled, planting is under way at the Garfield Park Community Garden. And no garden is complete without a good sized patch of kale and the help of dedicated volunteers like Leslie Konyndyk.

Leslie Konyndyk is the coordinator of the Garfield Community Garden. I was actually working on a small, family-owned organic farm in Colorado with her when I was introduced to growing kale and all of its benefits. We spent the better part of a year working together on a series of farms in 2010-2011, even co-running a local CSA (community supported agriculture program) supplying healthy, locally grown produce to people. Konyndyk approached me last spring and asked if I would like to get involved with the Garfield Park Community Garden.

Konyndyk has been involved with the garden since the spring of 2015.

She was approached by Fran Dalton from the Garfield Park Neighborhood Association after she moved back from Colorado and was asked if she wanted to get involved.

“I wanted to continue being involved with sustainable food,” Konyndyk said. “And working with sustainable food in an urban area would be a new exciting opportunity for me to contribute to the community I was brought up in.”

This year, the garden is facing a dramatically lower participation rate from the community. Last year, there were around 20 people participating in tending the garden, we currently have two returning members from last year and one new member. Was our success last year just a product of the novelty of a new community garden in the neighborhood, or do people just not have the time to commit to gardening in this fast-paced society?

One of the things I really appreciate about the garden is how much value in terms of produce one can grow,  only putting in a few hours of work each week. For the cost of renting a plot ($35), you could only buy about a week’s worth of produce. Whereas having a plot, you can produce a cornucopia of fresh veggies and fruit starting from after the last frost in the spring to all the way through fall. For those looking to get involved, you can get in touch by contacting Fran Dalton at fdalton@gpnagr.org or by calling 616-241-2443.

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