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Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Canajoharie, NY ,

Joshua Thomas
From left, Christopher Sumner, Jacob Cook, David Wilday, Matt Summerfield, Christian Arndt, Zachary Hayner, Sarah Paradiso and Anthony Paradiso.

Joshua Thomas
In back, David Wilday. Center, from left, Anthony Paradiso, Christopher Sumner, Jacob Cook and Sarah Paradiso. In front, Zachary Hayner.

Joshua Thomas
The three raised beds at the Fort Plain Community Garden will be prepared by Mrs. Paradiso's life skills students over the next few weeks.

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Locals invited to assist with blossoming community garden

Wednesday, May 07, 2014 - Updated: 3:27 PM

By JOSHUA THOMAS

C-S-E Editor

FORT PLAIN -- On Friday afternoon, a group of local students visited the Fort Plain Community Gardens located along the roadway leading to Wiles Park for the dedication of new compost bins, which were created by Troop 81 Junior Assistant Scoutmaster David Wilday.

Wilday first became interested in helping to better the community garden, now in its fourth year of existence, as part of his required scout service project, which he said is, "a major part of becoming an Eagle Scout,".

Wilday is well on his way to obtaining his Eagle Scout certification. He needs to complete one badge prior to the board of review meeting the first Tuesday in June, at which point he expects to acquire the title and status he's earned.

Canajoharie/Fort Plain Special Education Director Theodore Arndt expressed a need and Wilday responded, working throughout the winter, leading 3-4 other scouts per work session, to create numerous compost bins, paint the sign of the former Fort Plain tourist information booth now used as a storage shed, and create a rack for hanging tools such as shovels and rakes.

Wilday's creations, constructed from material donated by Curtis Lumber, were installed Thursday. Mrs. Paradiso's Life Skills class (Harry Hoag Elementary School, grades 3-6) has volunteered to take care of the garden until the summer, at which point parents and members of the local community will take over.

Arndt stated of the garden, a true community project that has involved not only parents, but businesses, residents and local organizations, "it's available for everybody."

The site's three raised beds were installed last year, and Arndt said "the raised beds brought us to a new level". The beds were constructed with environmentally friendly beams salvaged from the demolition of the building previously located at 41 Mohawk St., Fort Plain.

Arndt said that he hopes to receive some more donations of beams that haven't been treated with creosote or other non-environmentally friendly chemicals. He continued of the need for donations, "we would love donations of either gardening tools, trowels, weeders, and supplies." In the past, numerous local organizations have become involved by issuing donations, including Dettmer's Nursery, which donated plants.

Local farmer David Fredericks donated high quality compost and has tilled the beds in previous years.

Arndt will donate seeds to the project. In the past, the garden has successfully produced watermelons, onions, lettuce, carrots, radishes and cherry tomatoes, to name just some of the items that it could once again produce this year.

Fifth grade student Sarah Paradiso said that the whole process is rewarding, stating, "It's kind of nice to come up here in the summer and see a nice head of lettuce and say 'I planted this.'"

Community member Sherene Cook is looking forward to helping tend to the gardens for the first time, stating, "I'm excited to come up and enjoy it. It's something different to do."

     

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