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Mohler and Judy Netherton, her co-director, have a supply of canned and frozen fresh vegetables that will help feed the 80 to 95 people who eat lunch each Tuesday there through the winter months and into the spring thanks to the Community Garden.
“What I cannot use that week, or if they give me an abundance of vegetables, I can and put them in the freezer to be used later,” she said. “I have two freezers full of vegetables.
Vegetables grown at the Community Garden are donated to organizations in Kokomo that feed the hungry, said Cindy Rush, who is employed by Ivy Tech Community College as the Community Garden coordinator.
The Community Garden distributed 15,989.5 pounds of vegetables throughout its growing season this year to 14 groups that either supply meals or operate food pantries.
Begun in 2003 with the help of Master Gardeners, the garden is located near Ivy Tech at the intersection of Touby Pike and North Street. Seeds, plants, fertilizer and other items needed are all donated and volunteers work to grow the vegetables.
Planning for the garden begins early in the spring.
“We take information from the last year, the things we learned and what we want to try differently,” she said. “Maybe we don’t want to plant so much zucchini. Last year, beetles ate all of our potatoes in the ground and I didn’t want to plant them this year. But, our volunteers insisted we try again and we got quite a harvest.”
A core group of 15 to 20 people regularly work in the garden, but new volunteers are always appreciated.
“We have groups who show up — Boy Scouts, Kokomo Kiwanis, Kinsey Youth Center, CAM,” Rush said. “We had a group from Delphi for Day of Caring, and Taylor students came out and worked one morning.”