We’re so excited to announce that we finally have our first gardening project !! We’ve been working so hard to find an opportunity to open a community garden in West Dayton. For about a year and a half now we hadn’t found anything. As many of you know, at Mindy’s Planets inception, there was also a series of tornadoes. At that time we diverted our attention to relief work instead of continuing to pursue the garden.
After the end of the relief work, the gardening season came to an end also. At the time of this blog the pandemic that hit at the beginning of the season is still in full effect. Due to the social distance and stay at home orders in place, many community gardens were dry. Local offices closed as well. We didn’t exactly know where to go on from there but a few Google searches did give us a good lead.
We ended up finding out there was a log of community gardens in the Dayton Metropolitan Area through the metroparks ! From their website we found addresses to about 60 of them and decided to drive around to each one. 10 community gardens in West Dayton have good headstarts and will be low cost to takeover. We decided to ask for help on Facebook to lease those lots and got an overwhelming response ! We started to reach out to the owners, got 71 volunteers and raised $315 when the stay-at-home order got renewed.
A New Plan
Once the order got renewed a lot of the plans for the garden got canceled because the garden owners didn’t want to end up responsible if any of us got sick by working in one of their gardens. Fortunately, we happened to drive by the Dakota Center and spotted that they had a garden that was not on the list ! We reached out to them and here we are now.
The Dakota Street Center
The Dakota Center’s mission is to provide a safe community atmosphere engaging Dayton neighborhoods and people of all ages in programs that educate the whole person.
The center is currently in its sixth decade of service tracing back to the vision of the Center’s founders, Philip C. Hoelle, S.M., and William Hoben. Along with the garden they have an after school program, a summer camp, and a senior program. They offer the produce from the garden to the community as well as recreation. They are truly a safe haven for the people in the community.
The block the center is on is also a food desert. So, it’s even more important to us that we are able to have our first project in this location.
The New Garden
So now as of August 2020 our first community gardening project will be at the Dakota Center. We have a section of their garden under our wings with the the entire community garden and we share with four other organizations who have the similar missions.
This season will end in a couple short months. October 17th (mark your calendars) will be the Fall Harvest then it’s time to close everything up for the year. Over winter we will do a lot of planning on what our section looks like and on a system to distribute the food we grow.
Indoor Gardening Kits
We also offer Indoor Garden Kits to our underserved students ! The kits are totally free to the kids we give them to. They cost us $20 to assemble. Each kit comes with six small pots, six seed packets, a watering can, plant food and instructions.
We’re excited to share more of what’s going on as our organization is picking up speed ! Be sure to sign up for future blogs so that you don’t miss out !