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Community garden at KHCPL

Kokomo Perspective Thursday, March 15, 2012 The Kokomo-Howard County Public Library has always been about helping people to grow in learning, and it will soon help people to learn in growing. The Kokomo-Howard County Public Library is teaming up with The Crossing Educational Center, which is using part of its 4Community grant from United Way of Howard County to create a Community Garden at KHCPL South, 1755 E. Center Rd. For $20, a person or family will be allowed to garden in a 6×12, raised-bed plot that is ready for planting. Then the person or family will be responsible for planting, watering, weeding and harvesting. If you spend $70 on planting vegetables, you can reap $530 worth of produce per season, according to the National Gardening Association — a more than 650 percent return on your investment. Justin Kingery, a reference assistant at KHCPL South, has dreamt of creating a Community Garden at the library for years. James Jakus, teacher and program director at The Crossing Educational Center, an alternative high school, wanted to create a Community Garden, too. United Way of Howard County president Lori Tate told Jakus about the library’s desire to have a Community Garden and told library Director Charles Joray, who is on the 4Community council, about Jakus. With part of a grant The Crossing Educational Center received it will, among other things, prepare the land for gardening. “I have a group of kids that can’t wait to do it,” Jakus said. “Even though our program is three hours a day, our kids sometimes drop out. We needed something to get the kids excited about as well as a way for them to give back to the community, all the while learning various life skills. With the Community Garden, they will learn about business, farming, sustainability and healthy living. The students will have plots to tend to. We are going to sell some produce at the Farmers’ Market, and if we have leftovers, we will donate the vegetables to the needy.” “It’ll be an organic garden,” said Peg Harmon, assistant director of the KHCPL. “We’ll have a rain barrel watering system, and there won’t be any pesticides or insecticides used.” “You don’t have to know a lot about gardening to participate,” Kingery said. “You just need the desire and willingness to do the work. The library has a variety of books, at least 500 of them, and magazines people can check out to learn more about gardening, and we’ll have programs during which experts will share their tips.” If you’re interested in having a plot in the garden, come to the informational meeting at 6:30 p.m. on April 4 in the Cardinal Meeting Room at KHCPL South. For more information, call Kingery at 453-4150.]]>