The Gloucester Township Community Garden is a place to grow food, flowers and herbs in the company of friends and neighbors. The garden, located on the township owned land of the Gabriel Daveis tavern offers an opportunity for community members who do not have enough garden space for themselves to plant, harvest, and tend to crops.
For some, it is a place to reconnect with nature, enjoy the fresh air, and take advantage of the limited warm weather months in South Jersey. For those who wish to take part in the community garden, it costs $20 per year to rent a 10×12 foot plot of land-many residents own more than one plot, including Mary Johnson, who serves as the liaison to the Mayor’s Office in the role of Gloucester Township Community Garden Coordinator.
With summer’s official end date quickly approaching, Johsnon explained that it’s very important for gardeners to take full advantage of the warm summer months and long exposure to sunshine. In the middle of a strong heat wave, timing of water is equally important as exposure to sunlight
“I like to water early in the morning, I’m normally here between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m.,” says Johnson, “If you water too late in the day, or when it is too hot you can actually scorch the plants which is terrible for their growth.”
With the extreme heat exposure in South Jersey over the last few months gardeners must be extremely careful about when they water their plants. When it’s too hot out and the ground/soil the plants sit on has been baking in the sun all day, they must time up the water to properly hydrate the plants.
Johnson, who has been involved with the community garden for years, hopes that more people in the Gloucester township area take advantage of the space. She also said that since it opened, it’s more than doubled in size and would welcome another expansion if demand grows.
“I live in an apartment so something like the community garden is perfect for me, my patio is too shaded,” says Johnson, “Gardening is something I have always enjoyed doing. It relieves a lot of the stresses of life. I just love being in nature.”
The best time to grow many of peoples favorite fruits and vegetables is coming up, so make sure you take care of your own garden and get to store while the freshest supplies last.