Downtown community garden plot applications ready

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | Laurie Nigro (left) and Amy Davidson are seeking growers to get a plot in the 'River and Roots Community Garden near the intersection of Griffing Avenue and West Main Street.

The group that is organizing a community garden in downtown Riverhead is now accepting applications to maintain plots on the town-owned parcel north of Grangebel Park.

Applications and instructions are available on the River and Roots Community website, to plant and maintain one of the 36 4-by-10 plot on the West Main street property. There anyone in the community can grow fruits, vegetables, herbs or flowers. The plots are $25 and gardeners must provide their own seeds.

The non-profit group is leasing the space from the town.

Co-organizer and downtown resident Amy Davidson said Riverhead and Roots is awaiting a $10,000 grant from Cornell Cooperative Extension to build an aluminum fence around the land. Once that is in place, Ms. Davidson hopes to see shovels in the ground, preferably by early April.

That money is part of a $1.2 million grant from Cornell to promote healthy eating through farmers markets and community gardens.

The applications have already started to trickle in, Ms. Davidson said.

“We’ve had a couple, but I’m hoping for some more,” she said.

The community garden was originally pitched as a place for people, especially young mothers like Ms. Davidson, to congregate.
Ms. Davidson,  along with friend and fellow downtown resident Laurie Nigro, has been trying to create the garden for over a year. The pair hit a few snags along the way while trying to find an appropriate site. She said it is still hard to believe their vision is coming to life.

“I think once we have all the beds in there, it will feel real,” she said.

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Correction: A previous version of this story mistakenly stated the plots are free. They are $25.

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