In March 2016 a group of garden and food enthusiasts joined together at a ReInvision Public Discussion meeting. The group discussed ways to get our youth learning to grow and cook food and the benefit a Community Garden could have on Huntingdon. This team of local Huntingdon residents met several times following the Public Discussion Meeting and decided to move forward with their idea. A location was identified, a lengthy proposal was drafted, and a meeting was scheduled to seek approval. The team met with the Borough of Huntingdon in addition to the Huntingdon Community Center to propose a Community Food Garden.
Approval was granted in April 2016 and work began to promptly to get the garden planted and ready for the 2016 growing season. By the end of the first growing season, 80 volunteers ranging from local residents, college and high school students, and tourists visiting the area helped to plant, weed, water, and harvest the produce. ReInvision Huntingdon was able to provide over $1,100 of produce to local organizations in the Huntingdon Community after the first growing season in 2016.
In the spring of 2017, the ReInvision Huntingdon Board requested expansion onto the western side of the property. In April 2016 the Huntingdon Community Food Garden was expanded to utilize all of the vacant ground at the old William Smith Elementary School. In the second full growing season we harvested and donated $2,109 in produce to our local food banks and organizations in need. Our produce has supported the Huntingdon Salvation Army, the Drop In Center, Meals on Wheels, the Huntingdon Soup Kitchen at the Presbyterian Church, and the Mainstream Counseling After School Program. If you know of local organizations that would be interested in accepting produce for a community meal please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to our recent Garden Crew Members
at the Huntingdon Community Food Garden
J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital
Standing Stone Coffee Company
The Medicine Shoppe
Frank P. Hommon Post No. 24, American Legion
Huntingdon CareerLink with Kathy Hall
Huntingdon Area Middle School
Individual supporters include: Jennifer Koskey, The Slusher Family in addition to many more individuals and families who came out during the 2017 season to help with–or donate to–the Community Food Garden! Thanks as always to the Huntingdon Community Center for generously providing us with a place to grow vegetables for the community!
Interested in supporting the garden as a Garden Crew Member? Learn More
FAQ’s about our garden:
1. How long has the garden been open?
Spring of 2016 the garden plan was approved by the HCC Executive Committee.
2. Was there a guide or plan that was followed in terms of community gardening?
Nope. Just Nick Millers farming knowledge of in ground beds. We removed two vertical above ground beds that were on site and tilled 8 horizontal beds in the ground.
3. What have been some of the biggest challenges the garden has faced?
First year, deer/rabbits and getting volunteers. Second year, too many volunteers
4. How many people from the community are involved?
The land is owned by the Borough and leased to Huntingdon Community Center. We started the Garden Crew Members in the spring of 2017. We have had a different business or organization sign up for one month from May – September. They agree to come each month with 4-8 volunteers to assist with planting, mowing, mulching, weeding, harvesting, and watering.
5. What is done with the food that is produced?
The Borough and HCC both asked that we donate all produce locally. We donate to several organizations around town.
6. How did you decide what would be planted?
Mostly items that could withstand extremes and non gardening tendencies. Fragile plants aren’t a great choice with little handed volunteers. We have some weeks with rain for days and others that we are in drought and are unable to water. We have stuck with a few main items and hope to expand offerings as the garden grows.