The Township of Nutley has a long history of being a fertile farming community. Many residents still grow their own fruits and vegetables, but unfortunately not everyone is blessed enough to have a piece of land that they can cultivate. Our township has seen a surge in residents and the construction of multi-dwelling buildings in the past several years, with no real sizable piece of property on which they could grow their own food. We are hoping the new community garden will afford these resident the opportunity to do just that.
The ultimate goal for the Nutley Community Garden is twofold; to provide nutritious, fresh food to residents and to offer a physical, as well as an emotional outlet to all that participate. The first is pretty obvious, as most people are aware of the health benefits of fresh, organic produce as opposed to sugar and carbohydrate laden processed foods. But many are not aware of the physical health benefit of gardening. The National Institute of Health recommends gardening 3-5 a week for 30-45 minutes as a way to help reduce problems with obesity. As previously mentioned, bike racks will be installed on premises, as well as a tool shed, so residents can bike or walk to the garden and not have to worry about transporting all their tools along with them.
The baseline data points we are hoping to impact would be the amount of produce we will be collecting and donating to the two organizations in town, as well as how many participants are actually biking and walking to the gardens and how much of a physical impact it will make on their lives.
Now that the weather is breaking and we are seeing longer and warmer days, it is only a matter of time before we can really start to see the fruits of our labors. The wheels are set in motion to prep our garden area, construct the beds and get interested residents into the dirt! We couldn’t be more excited!
What a difference a week makes! This time last week our lot was knee deep in snow and now we have a clear view of what lies ahead of us, literally and figuratively.