The meeting was held at the Chamber of Commerce Board Room. In attendance were David Haggard, Marianne Dalton, Sharon Sutherland, Mike Milam, Mon. T. Grays, Leah Mobley, Mance Cunningham, Sean Adler, Woody Eller, Rev. Will Johnson, and Freddie Graham.
Edler who is the plant manager of Black Gold Farms in Arbyrd, Mo., talked about the company's focus on community gardens this year. The company will be joining the community garden and will be offering their expertise and help.
A sketch of the garden was also reviewed by those in attendance. This year there are 84 long rows and 31 shortened rows. Crops that will be planted this year include green beans, sweet corn, okra, jalapeno peppers, watermelons, black eye peas, zucchini, bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, purple hull peas, radishes, banana peppers, and yellow squash. Also planted and tended to by Black Gold Farms will be sweet potatoes, snow peas, red potatoes, eggplant, yukon gold potatoes, and two different kinds of onions.
According to Graham, coordinator for the garden, new this year will be the partnership between the garden and Sharon Sutherland of the University of Mo. Extension Service in implementing a program for the young people of the community. A corner of the garden has been set aside specifically for this program. Sutherland will be teaching the kids about gardening and nutrition in the Rotary Produce building. They, in turn, will then plant, tend and harvest their section of the garden.
Haggard has secured additional equipment for the garden which includes hooded sprayers, cultivators, and a planter. Modification of some of the equipment will be done and it is a possibility that Edler may be able to secure for the garden a one-row planter and hoes.
According to Graham, Minnie Sanders, administrator of the Dunklin County Caring Council, the garden's parent company, has applied for a grant.
Two things emphasized during the meeting was fund raising and that the garden is not intended for people from other states or counties. Graham noted if there is an interest shown, garden volunteers would certainly be willing to teach them what they have learned this past year about community gardens so they could start one of their own.
Also discussed at the meeting was the need for signs which will help minimize the loss of crops to people who are not intended as garden recipients.
If anyone is interested in volunteering for the community garden this year, the next meeting will be at 10 a.m., Friday, Feb. 15, at the Chamber of Commerce office.