Garden helps those in need

Staff writer

The Florence Community Garden across the street from the Harvey House Museum had a fruitful season, donating more than 1,000 lbs. of produce to those in need across the county. This was the most produce the garden had ever donated since its founding three years ago, garden caretaker Phoebe Janzen said.

Tomatoes worth $200 were sold to allow her to purchase four cherry trees for the garden. She says the garden is more than just a garden to the community.

“It’s a place where people can see and learn about what they eat, and what’s healthy,” she said. “There’s a need for good healthy food in our community and the garden provides that.”

She and other helpers, like Tammy Britton from Peabody, Allen Hayes, Max Williams, and Karen Woodward of Florence, have helped the garden flourish this year by planting 96 tomato plants. The garden also features flowers, four types of green beans, herbs, and grapes, as well as other things.

The garden is also home to various other fruit and nut trees to keep the newly planted cherry trees company.

Those who help with the garden are free to pick whatever they need for their families. The rest of the produce is sold or donated and all the money is then put back into the garden.

“I try to buy locally to help the county out as much as possible, and watch for sales so the money goes further,” Janzen said.

She said the garden promotes a sense of community in Florence and promotes a healthy lifestyle.

“There are so many people who have been involved over the years,” she said. “If there’s four or five of us out here working it doesn’t feel like work. We’re able to get a lot done and have a good time, plus its good exercise.”

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