Madisonville to build 500 gardens

Madisonville has a goal of having 500 food-producing gardens for residents and workers in 2014 and beyond. The initiative, 500 Gardens, was created by Sidestreams Foundation, Inc., and the Madisonville Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation.
Sidestreams is a nonprofit whose mission is to generate urban sustainability through education and infrastructure projects, and to change the landscape of communities one garden at a time.
Due to large lots, a tradition of gardening and active community partners, Sidestreams believes Madisonville is the ideal spot for 500 Gardens. It is also designated as a USDA Food Desert. And over the past two years, Sidestreams has worked with the Lighthouse Community School to build gardens in parking lots and a vacant lot.
Garden plots will be built in March, April and May as four-by-eight-foot raised beds filled with soil.
500 Gardens is looking for three types of volunteers for the initiative: gardeners who live or have a business in Madisonville who want to create a garden; volunteers to help build the gardens; and experienced food gardeners to server as mentors.

Sidestreams will provide a garden for a small fee, and gardeners will need to attend a basic gardening class where they will receive seeds and be paired with a mentor. There are also community garden plots available for those who don’t have a space of their own to garden.
By Caitlin Koenig
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