May 31, 2012 [Joanne Berger DuMound, cleveland.com]
BEREA — The community is invited to help build a community garden Saturday.
Volunteers are needed from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the new garden that will be located on vacant property at 422 Runn Street. The land is on the east side of Runn near Depot Street.
All produce from the Polish Village Community Garden this year will be donated to local food banks, which will distribute it to those in need.
The lot is about 60 feet wide by 158 feet long. The city took ownership of it after the Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corporation, also known as the Cuyahoga County Land Bank, demolished the vacant house on the lot, tilled and leveled the property. The land bank gave the land to the city.
Rebecca Corrigan, executive director of the Berea Community Development Corporation, said the property would be a nice location for a community garden, which will be about 700-800 square feet in size this year.
“It is the last residential property on Runn Street that is next to an industrial district,” she said. “It will make a nice buffer area between the two districts.”
During Saturday’s session, volunteers will help fill the 12 raised beds with dirt and such plants as tomatoes, peppers, cabbage and spinach. They also will plant seeds, including Swiss chard, beets, carrots and organic zucchini and cucumber.
Carly Marginian, the garden’s project coordinator and with the BCDC, said an Ohio State University Extension mini-grant helped buy tools and other items. Volunteers may bring their own gloves and tools.
Those who want to help at Saturday’s planting should call the BCDC at (440) 826-4727 since the site is limited to about 20-25 people. However, Marginian said others are needed to weed and harvest the produce throughout the growing season.
“We are building a volunteer list for when we need extra help,” she said.
Corrigan said there are plans for 2013 to start a farmer’s market in the city where a percentage of the garden’s harvest will be discounted to the general public.
“There is such a desire for garden fresh, locally produced food,” Corrigan said. “The community garden at St. Thomas Church distributed 500 pounds of produce from its garden that was planted in July. We see the need for these gardens and the trend toward local produce.”