Collingswood is well known for its weekend farmers market, but its community garden is still something of an under-the-radar project.
Founded in 2010, and tucked away at the end of East Collings Avenue, between Lincoln and Washington Avenues, the citizen-led greenspace is showing off its summer bloom with an open house Sunday, July 13.
For more information about the event and the garden itself, we reached out to George Schroeder, who heads up the garden, by e-mail. Here’s what he said.
NJ PEN: What’s in the garden now?
GEORGE SCHROEDER: Gardeners have their own plots (eight feet by 10 feet) planted with anything of their choosing; mostly veggies and flowers. There is a common herb garden that any member can harvest from.
Common areas are planted with blueberries, wildflowers, apple trees, lavender, as well as other plants. We are an organic garden, so we are non-GMO.
NJ PEN: When do you harvest?
SCHROEDER: Gardeners are havesting almost all the time. Several gardeners use cold frames to lengthen the growing season. We also highly encourage gardeners to plant Spring and Fall garden crops to get more out of their plots.
NJ PEN: Who’s involved, and why do people join?
SCHROEDER: We have around 75 member using 47 plots. Everyone is required to contribute six hours to the upkeep of common areas, and many members are involved in subcommittees to maintain particular areas such as the herb garden and donation garden.
Many people join to meet people and socialize as well as to have a sunny, pleasant place to garden and develop their knowledge of organic gardening.
NJ PEN: What’s the best reason for a non-member to contribute to the project?
SCHROEDER: The Collingswood Community Garden is committed to teaching and practicing organic gardening, and maintaining and improving a community greenspace that improves air quality, water quality and provides habitat for wildlife.
We provide residents of Collingswood and surrounding community the opportunity to learn about gardening, grow healthy food, exercise and meet people who share similar interests.
We also provide fresh vegetables to Saint Paul’s Food Pantry from our donation garden and from individual plots.
The Collingswood Community Garden will host an open house from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, July 13. Guests can support the operation by buying a burger or hot dog during the tour.
For a $5 donation, visitors can take home a set of four garden-themes note cards (contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you can’t make it to the tour on Sunday).