South Franklin Circle member Jerry Tone would like some steamed fresh green beans with his dinner tonight. He doesn’t have to go very far to get them. The community garden that he and 20 other SFC members pooled their resources to create earlier in the year is only a short stroll from his cottage home on Jordan Gardner Oval.
“I must not have picked these for awhile,” notes Jerry as he pulls back the leaves of the plant to reveal a plethora of ripe beans. “In some ways they’re more fun to grow than to eat,” he jokes.
Jerry, along with SFC members Luke Case and Marty Pope, worked with a landscape architect to design wooden raised garden plots of various sizes. They built the plots themselves in about three weeks.
“Both Luke and Marty have engineering backgrounds, so that was a big help,” notes Jerry.
Members currently grow squash, watermelon, eggplant, green beans, cucumbers, flowers and lots and lots of tomatoes!
“We’ll have a real surplus of tomatoes soon,” says Jerry. “We’ll have a basket in the lobby of the community center.” The crops were planted around the first of June.
Jerry had a fairly large garden at his home in Gates Mills, so he appreciates the opportunity to garden again.
So does Susie Sebastian.
Although she and her husband, Dick, moved to South Franklin Circle from Manhattan, they had lived in Yellow Springs, Ohio for a time and regularly grew their own herbs and vegetables.
“It’s great to have this,” says Susie, who reveals she has an abundance of basil, sage, rosemary, dill, chives and sweet cherry tomatoes. “With the lack of rain we’ve had this summer, I usually come out to water every other day.”
Jerry feels that members not only take pride in their crops, but there is a great social aspect to it as well.
“We plan to add some picnic tables with umbrellas so people can just hang out if they want to,” he says.