Established in 2009, Hardacre Community Garden works to provide healthy, locally grown food to be shared throughout Cedar County and neighboring areas. The garden site is located on the historic Jacob Hardacre farm, at the northwest corner of Tipton and is a project supported by the Old Tipton Union School non-profit organization.
While volunteers and all members of the community are welcome to share in the bounty of produce grown at the garden, a majority of the food is donated to food pantries, churches, care facilities, and other area non-profits. In 2011, nearly five and a half tons of food were distributed amongst our neighbors; an impressive total but we strive to offer more with each new season. In addition to these contributions, Hardacre Community Garden has proven to be a social and educational asset to Tipton and surrounding areas. Neighbors come together to help with garden chores and share techniques. Local high school students start early spring seeds in an indoor grow chamber, work in the garden through the summer, and use the produce to learn canning methods in the fall.
Sustainability and responsible land stewardship are also fundamental values at Hardacre Community Garden. We do not use pesticides and we rely on compost and other organic material for fertilizer. Many of the seeds we plant are of heirloom variety, which is important in preserving historical lines and biodiversity in our food supply. Much of the construction material and fencing found in garden use has been reclaimed or repurposed from waste, and is reused season after season.
Hardacre Community Garden has been designated an official “People’s Garden” by the United States Department of Agriculture based on our contributions to the community, focus on sustainability, and collaborative volunteer efforts. We have proudly carried this label since our inaugural season, and with it join a network of over 1,600 similar projects around the globe united in common goals.
We at Hardacre Community Garden welcome the involvement of all of our neighbors, be it by home or by heart. If you’re in the Tipton area you are invited to stop by and see the garden (just outside of town on west 9th street) at any time. Someone can generally be found working on site evenings and weekends throughout the growing season, and we’re always grateful for those who want to lend a helping hand. Likewise, friends near and far are invited to follow along with garden activities through this blog and on our Facebook page. Here you will find frequent updates, photos and other garden related news and can engage in conversation by leaving comments on the respective sites. It is our hope that by administering these web pages we will not only raise community awareness, but further our goal of providing an educational resource for all.
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