Plush Community Garden Sprouts Near Horse Stables at Wickham Park, Features Micro-Irrigation

By  //  April 14, 2017

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healthy food for community's under-served

A tract of dirt near the horse stables at Wickham Park is now the site of a plush Community Garden that provides a much-need source of healthy food for under-served members of the community. (Brevard County image)

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – A tract of dirt near the horse stables at Wickham Park is now the site of a plush Community Garden that provides a much-need source of healthy food for under-served members of the community.

In all, there are 20 plots or vegetable beds that are rented by Brevard County citizens, and another 20 beds that are manned by volunteers.

Those who spend two hours or more per month tending the garden get a free box of vegetables to take home to their families. Vegetables are sold at the Farmer’s Market or made available to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients.

The Community Garden opened in October, and is a result of a partnership between UF/IFAS Extension Service and Brevard County Government.

The Community Garden offers residents of Brevard County opportunity to give their green thumbs a workout, while providing participants a place to grow healthy, nutritious food while experiencing the joys of gardening.

Linda Seals, director of the UF/Brevard Extension Service, said vegetables available include “lots of tomatoes,” lettuce, green beans, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower and kale.

Linda Seals, director of the UF/Brevard Extension Service, said vegetables available include “lots of tomatoes,” lettuce, green beans, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower and kale.

“These gardens are public resources that provide green space in urban areas; offer opportunities for social gatherings; contribute to community beautification, education and recreation; and offer urban food security support,” Seals said.

“In addition to these communal benefits, studies have shown that community gardeners and their children eat healthier, more nutrient-rich diets than nongardening families.”

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The fenced garden consists of 40 four-foot-by-16-foot raised garden beds with micro-irrigation. It’s located adjacent to the extension service’s 4-H Market Poultry project barn at Wickham Park.

For information on sponsoring a plot or participating as a gardener or volunteer, please email Linda Seals at lseals@ufl.edu

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