Barth gar­den party celebrates har­vest­ing pro­duce, friend­ships

The Community Connection - - LOCAL NEWS - By Michilea Pat­ter­son For Dig­i­tal First Me­dia

POTTSTOWN » Area residents and sup­port­ers re­cently cel­e­brated the grow­ing ef­forts of the Barth Com­mu­nity Gar­den with food, mu­sic and beau­ti­ful scenery.

Mo­saic Com­mu­nity Land Trust hosted a gar­den party at the space next to Barth El­e­men­tary School to un­veil a newly in­stalled pa­tio, cel­e­brate ac­com­plish­ments and an­nounce fu­ture plans. The gar­den, lo­cated at 467 W. Wal­nut St., is one of four com­mu­nity gar­dens in the bor­ough.

“I al­ways like to see what’s new and im­proved at Barth,” said Ellen Eisele, Barth El­e­men­tary first­grade teacher.

She said the new pa­tio was beau­ti­ful and will pro­vide more op­por­tu­ni­ties for stu­dents to visit the green space. Eisele plans on us­ing it as a read­ing re­ward sys­tem with her class and the new butterfly gar­den will be part of a science cur­ricu­lum to teach chil­dren about plant life. The new gar­den area was named after Pottstown res­i­dent Ron Richael, who helped de­sign and cre­ate the space.

A lot of ad­di­tions and changes have been made at the Barth com­mu­nity gar­den since it was first in­stalled about two years.

Char­lotte Charles is one of the care­tak­ers of the gar­den along with her hus­band Howard Charles. Char­lotte said all the com­mu­nity plots in the gar­den are full and be­ing used by area residents. She said even more peo­ple are in­ter­ested in hav­ing a plot next year so there’s a pos­si­bil­ity of ex­pan­sion.

Michelle Fine, 31, of Pottstown, has been a mem­ber at the Barth gar­den since July. She’s cur­rently grow­ing cu­cum­bers, toma­toes, po­ta­toes and car­rots. Fine said the gar­den has been ben­e­fi­cial to her es­pe­cially since she was di­ag­nosed with Type 2 di­a­betes.

She said the gar­den is also great for her daugh­ter who has spe­cial needs. Fine said the com­mu­nity space has gar­den­ers of all lev­els and is a great place to meet new peo­ple.

Howard Charles said a com­mu­nity gar­den is the per­fect name for the green space be­cause it brings peo­ple to­gether and al­lows them to com­mune.

“You start your seed, you take your time and you toil. Then you look for­ward to the har­vest,” Charles said. “We are also har­vest­ing friend­ships and re­la­tion­ships by peo­ple com­ing to­gether at the gar­den.”

Dur­ing the gar­den party, Charles gave sev­eral peo­ple a tour of the har­vest which in­cluded bell pep­pers, can­taloupes, wa­ter­mel­ons and more. He also pro­vided a few tips dur­ing the tour. Be­cause of weather con­di­tions this year, he ex­plained that some broc­coli plants didn’t flower well but that the leaves were edi­ble and could be used like col­lard greens. Charles said smaller, cherry or­ange toma­toes grow­ing in the gar­den are a great op­tion for those with acid re­flux and re­ferred to leafy, green kale as “Her­cules food” since it’s very nu­tri­tious.

Although those that at­tended the gar­den party were im­pressed with the pro­duce, Charles said the heavy rain­fall has made it dif­fi­cult for this year’s crops. He even pointed out the ev­i­dence in the base of corn­stalks.

“Any­time the leaves start turn­ing re­ally yel­low that means there’s a lot of wa­ter and pho­to­syn­the­sis is not tak­ing place in the leaves,” Charles said.

Even with a few set­backs, the com­mu­nity gar­den con­tin­ues to grow and there will be sev­eral ad­di­tions com­ing soon. A small bush was planted off to the side of the plots and Charles ex­plained that the space will be­come a me­mo­rial area for gar­den mem­bers that have passed away.

“We re­ally want an ev­er­green bush as some­thing that lives all year round,” he said. Daniel Price, Mo­saic com­mu­nity gar­den man­ager, said a green­house will be in­stalled at the gar­den in the fall. Once it’s in­stalled, there will be an­other gar­den party in Oc­to­ber to show­case it.

“We just keep do­ing things and com­ing up with good rea­sons to have a good party,” Price said.

To stay up to date with gar­den events and for more in­for­ma­tion about be­com­ing a Mo­saic gar­den mem­ber, visit the web­site at mo­saic­clt.org.

MICHILEA PAT­TER­SON – DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

A lo­cal res­i­dent tends to her plot of pro­duce dur­ing a gar­den party at the com­mu­nity space next to Barth El­e­men­tary School. Mo­saic Com­mu­nity Land Trust hosted the party to un­veil a newly in­stalled pa­tio and cel­e­brate ac­com­plish­ments.

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