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Monday, Sep 24, 2018
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Community garden grows friendships

Ellen Leedy said she feels she has received twice as much in vegetables than her $35 investment in a membership in the Seminole Heights Community Garden.

But, she says, it is more than the fresh greens, okra, squash, other vegetables and herbs grown at the garden at 6011 N. Highland Ave., that keep her coming back.

“It is the camaraderie. Everyone who comes here wants to be here,” said the photographer who also loves to cook.

“It also encourages you to learn new recipes,” she said, as members bring covered-dishes and recipes to share at brunches on picnic tables on an adjacent oak-covered piece of property.

The garden moved to Highland Avenue in summer 2014 from a location on Violet Street.

Garden president Denise Moore said the new garden came at a good time as the owner of the previous location was ready to sell the property.

Amy and Lazaro Espinosa had bought the Highland Avenue property so no one could build next to their house. They heard about the garden and offered it for use. They also allowed gutters from their house to be connected to a cistern to collect and store water for the garden.

“It’s been amazing. I didn’t expect the amount of community interaction. I’ve meet some amazing people,” Amy Espinosa said.

Doris Gagner, a retiree, is the group’s membership director and treasurer. She said in addition to the annual dues of $35 a year, a member must agree to do at least 20 hours of work a year.

Members must abide by the organization’s rules that include adding nothing to the soil that could endanger others or corrupt the ground.

The garden members meet monthly at 6:30 p.m. the third Monday of a month at Seminole Heights Library with meetings open free of charge to guests. Garden workdays are from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays.

For information, see www.seminoleheights communitygarden.org.

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