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Garden plots offered in Cannelton

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By Vince Luecke

CANNELTON - Although Mother Nature has kept many gardeners at bay with a wet spring, a program offering free garden plots is ready to take root in Cannelton.  

Purdue Extension of Perry County is offering 10-foot by 15-foot plots to anyone who is interested in growing their own vegetable garden, said Brenda Hagedorn, consumer and family-sciences educator for Perry County.

The plots, she said, are  ideal for senior citizens, school groups, scouts, church groups, individuals and families who lack the space for their own gardens. Larger plots may become available depending on family or group size and demand.

First Baptist Church at 325 N. Fourth St. in Cannelton has donated the use of a portion of church property for the garden.

Participants will be asked to complete and return a garden-use agreement stating that they will be responsible for the planting, care, harvesting and clean-up of their plots. The garden will be tilled and prepared for planting as soon as the weather permits, Hagedorn said. Free vegetable seeds are available to those participating in the project.

The community garden is a part of the Purdue Extension program From Garden Gate to Dinner Plate, which provides education on gardening, nutrition and food preservation in an attempt to help families and individuals save money, improve self-sufficiency and become healthier in tough economic times.

As gardens begin to turn out their bounty, the extension office will host a food-preservation workshop from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.  June 17 at the Perry County 4-H Fairgrounds.

The workshop will help participants learn the basic techniques for canning, freezing and making jams and jellies.

There will also be a workshop at the same time for children. The fee is $5 per person or $10 per family.

To participate in the community garden or to pre-register for food preservation workshop call the Perry County Extension Office at 547-7084.