In Warren County, you don't have to go it alone to grow your own, and you don't need space to produce your own produce.
Thanks to the Warren County Conservation District's community garden program, even people without a yard can experience the satisfaction and freshness that comes with skipping the grocery store and growing your own vegetables.
Started in 2008, the program grew out of a Warren resident's request for a program similar to one that once existed at the Warren State Hospital's Farm Colony site in North Warren. The resident approached the Conservation District and the community garden program was born.
The program consists of garden plots which can be rented for $25 each. Each plot measures 25 feet by 25 feet and is staked out with posts and ribbons to delineate borders. Renters can use the plots in place of home gardens.
"The objective is to provide people who don't have room a home for a backyard garden," District Manager Heather Wilcox said. "It's meant to provide somewhere to grow their own garden."
The program has expanded since its humble ten-plot beginnings. In 2009, the program expanded to 18 plots and has since grown to offer 24.
There are some ground rules.
The district plows the plots no later than Memorial Day weekend, but planting, maintenance and harvest are the renters' responsibility.
Renters are required to keep weeds under control. According to the district's application for a plot, if weeds become an issue, the renter is notified by mail or phone. They then have two weeks to correct the problem before the district mows over their plot.
Compost, such as weeds and clippings, must be kept in a renter's own plot or put in a designated area for plant material. Compost cannot spill onto walkways or other plots.
Landscape fabric and plastic are prohibited, as only bio-degradable weed suppression is allowed.
Renters must provide their own water, if necessary.
At the end of the growing season, anything a renter brought to the garden must be taken with them.
The Warren County Conservation District's community garden plots are located on Hatch Run Road, just east of the intersection with Conewango Avenue.