FORT EDWARD — When members of the Village Baptist Church and others in the community started discussing a community garden, it was a simple idea, aimed at giving people a place to grow fresh fruits and vegetables and to supplement the Fort Edward Community Food Pantry.
The first dirt has yet to be turned, and the project is already becoming something larger than planned.
“This really fits in with what we are doing,” Ed Carpenter, a village trustee, said at a meeting of the Village Board earlier this month. “The planning is going well, and we are getting ready to move forward. The site is perfect for what we want to do in the village.”
Carpenter, one of seven members of the committee headed by the Rev. Dr. Sheldon Hurst, the church’s pastor, was referring to the village’s overall Renaissance Plan, which focuses on a series of specific zones within Fort Edward. It is designed to improve the community and bring more people downtown.
“We’re really glad Ed came on board, and we are certainly glad the village has seen the wisdom of how this fits into their plans,” said Hurst, who noted that more details on the garden will be available after a meeting Tuesday. Initially, the committee did not know where the community garden would be, but the village offered it on West Street, near a planned farmers’ market building that is part of the Renaissance Plan.
“The way it is set up, you wind up with a triangle, with the community garden at the municipal parking area, the farmers’ market and the waterfront park,” Hurst said. “This really seems sort of serendipitous. In the church we would call it a spirit movement. If it all comes together, it could really be a great chance for people to walk around downtown. I think it will contribute a lot to Fort Edward. This will all make Fort Edward Village a nice place to be.”
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The project does indeed seem touched with a little luck. At Tuesday’s meeting, the garden’s design will be announced. It is being out together by Bert Weber of Warren County Cornell Cooperative Extension, who is also designing community gardens in other places, including Glens Falls. His role is being funded by a grant from the Glens Falls Hospital’s “Creating Healthy Places to Live, Work and Play” grant.
Hurst said the garden will be designed not only for growing, but as a community destination. “It will have some design to it. It will be a place to garden and a place to sit and watch other people garden.”
Hurst said he hopes people who live downtown will come grow their own fruits and vegetables. His church will tend a plot for the food pantry.
“This touches so many people’s lives,” he said, “We can connect with the earth, and we can connect with other people.”
Hurst said more specific information on the garden will be available after Tuesday’s committee meeting.