Ewing’s community gardeners have reason to be concerned about a number of food production issues, from the costs of the globalization of the food supply, to the issues of food contamination and quality, to the need to support local food production, or to simply enjoy their time in the garden producing their own food. More and more people are vitally interested in producing their own food.
In response to this increased interest in local food production, the Green Team’s Community Gardens Committee has been working to organize and promote the current community gardens and local food production and to identify areas in the Township as that would be suitable for additional community gardens as needed.
Started more than a decade ago on township-owned land, the Ewing Community Gardens on Whitehead Road Extension has become firmly established. Ewing Township provides:
- The gardens are located on township park land
- The township installed plumbing and pays for the water
- 8’ deer fencing around the perimeter of the garden plots
- The township tills the garden and marks individual plots
- Registration support thru the Municipal Clerk
- Maintenance: township employees pick up garbage, provide benches, a port-a-potty, and other miscellaneous materials
- The township pays for flyers and print advertisement in the Ewing Observer
Community Gardening Organization
In 2012 the Ewing Community Gardens Association (ECGA) was created as a formal body within the Township to advocate for gardeners and communicate concerns and requests to the township. This body is recognized by the Township through ordinance as the managing entity for the gardens.
The community garden is divided into two sections. Half is called the No Till/Organic section and the other half is the Tilled section. Ewing residents apply for a plot each Spring. The plot they ‘leased’ for the prior year is theirs again if they make a timely renewal each Spring.
In the ‘No Till’ section the gardener must not use synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. Gardeners can leave their stakes, trellising, or plot framing for the next year as well as plant perennial fruits and vegetables.
The Township tills the entire ‘Till’ section and marks the plots with stakes for the gardeners. ‘Till’ gardeners are responsible for removing ALL non-biodegradable materials in the fall to be ready for tilling in the spring. TCNJ Students come each Spring and Fall for the day to assist in maintaining the walkways between the plots. The ECGA website, https://ewingcommunitygardens.wordpress.com/, is updated periodically by the garden coordinator. Communication is largely done through email and by phone to those gardeners who don’t have access to email.
Sign ups for plots begin on March 1st for returning gardeners. New participants wishing to sign up for a plot may begin to register on March 15th. Contact the Township clerk below for more information.
Township Clerk: Kimberly Macellaro
Phone: 883-2900 x7609
Garden Site Cleanup Dates
Site cleanup days are run regularly throughout the gardening season. A spring cleanup is run in late March/early April to clean up the site from the last year and to spread wood chips on the paths. Weeding and additional site maintenance is performed throughout the season culminating in a final cleanup in the fall where gardeners are asked to remove all personal effects and leave their plots in good condition over the winter.
Wood chips are also available for the gardeners use. All participating gardeners are encouraged to bring cardboard and newspaper to put beneath the tree chips to suppress the weeds and spread the chips on remaining areas as their time at the gardens permits.