The Melton Center began our Community Garden program to help bring fresh food and healthy produce to the East End of the borough, which is considered a “food desert.” This year we have also added a Children’s Garden, with a goal of helping students learn about nature, the environment, and how to grow their own food from a young age. This summer we are partnering with the West Chester Green Team for an 8-week nature education program for students ages 5-10 years old.
Our garden has ten 4×4 plots this year. These plots are being cared for by the Melton Center as well as community gardeners from the West Chester Green Team. We are growing a variety of vegetables and herbs such as tomatoes, carrots, sweet peas, bell peppers, hot peppers, basil, and cilantro in our garden plots this summer, and in the fall will grow cooler-weather crops such as lettuce, kale, and collard greens.
The harvest will be enjoyed throughout the seasons by the students and their families, residents of the East End, and by the families who have requested plots through the West Chester Green Team. Any extra produce will be donated to the West Chester Food Cupboard or Chester County Food Bank. We just built a brand new community garden in a new location on the Melton Center’s campus this spring so we are starting small for this year, but we look forward to continuing to grow our garden and welcome more gardeners each year!