Barth garden party celebrates harvesting produce, friendships
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.
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.