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Community garden looks forward to reopening

Upgrades to the site include fencing, gates and a sign.

CHRISTINE HARKINSON/The Sun: The community garden on Camden Avenue features new improvements such as fencing and garden gates. It officially reopened to the public on May 6.

Carol Ellis is excited about residents enjoying the Moorestown community garden on Camden Avenue when it opens this summer.

“I’m really, really happy with the way it turned out,” said Ellis, the garden’s administrator. “It just warms my heart that now the gardeners have a nice place to do their thing, and it looks nice from the street.”

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Ellis explained that the community garden came to fruition in 1980, after the Perkins Center for the Arts sold the site’s land to the township. Officials approached the Moorestown Garden Club about what could be done with the open space. Most people who had plots in the garden were members of the club and Ellis explained how the garden was transformed over time.

“There’s been several people that have done this administration work, but I’ve been doing it for the past five, six years, and what I did notice every time I would drive by is the poor fencing,” Ellis noted. “It actually was way shorter (and) there were no gates so you could step over to get in.”

The natural garden now has fencing and posts donated by Moorestown Hardware, and each plot – 16 in all – has its own gate made by a colleague of former club President Gina Zegel. A welcome sign stands behind a new flower bed.

“We actually have gotten some anonymous donations that help get this done,” said Ellis, who noted that although some people left while the garden was being renovated, every plot is now filled.

“The rule of thumb for gardening is after Mother’s Day,” she added. “Because that’s when usually the danger of frost has passed.”

Gardeners can grow a wide array of produce in their plots, including lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, plants and flowers.

“Everybody is eager to get in there, and I’ve had a lot of nice support from the gardeners,” Ellis said. Garden members came to her with ideas about what could be done with additional produce for the months ahead.

“One of the gardeners did ask me, ‘Do you think we can do something throughout the summer?’ she added. “Because they usually have a huge yield of their efforts, and maybe we might think about putting a little stand just to give it (produce/plants) away.”

Members of the Moorestown Garden Club and people who own plots in the garden gathered on May 6 to celebrate its grand reopening. Moorestown Hardware owners Pete and Julie Bender were in attendance, as were 12 of the gardeners. 

Ellis noted that the event was a great way for gardeners to share tips and meet each other.

(I’m) very happy about this project,” she said. “It’s been a long time coming, and (it’s) finally here.”

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