Portsmouth Pantry Garden flourishing despite late start

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 17, 2011

PORTSMOUTH— Keeping up with the Portsmouth Pantry Garden at Doyle’s Landing is a daily task and two summer associate AmeriCorps VISTA students at Shawnee State University welcome volunteers to help work in the garden.

Dot Flanagan and Danielle Boyles were chosen as summer associate VISTAS for this summer project through the Center for Community Service at Shawnee State University. The garden was plowed thanks to Lynne Rodeheffer and her church mission group – but got a late start because of all the rain.

Flanagan and Boyles planted the acre plot with a variety of vegetables and fruits including tomatoes, beans, potatoes, corn, pumpkin, squash, radishes, peppers, onions, melons, cantelopes and a smorgasbord of delectable veggies.

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Despite the late start, the garden is growing quickly and the weeds are growing right along with the veggies and fruits. Weeding is a daily job.

Through the court system, community service volunteers will help, and different groups and individuals will volunteer at times. Even if a person doesn’t know anything about gardening, Boyles and Flanagan will teach them if they want to help in the garden.

“It is a great community service project for groups,” said Nikki Karabinis, coordinator for the Office of Community Service at Shawnee State. “The garden has been providing veggies and fruit for the past three years to area food pantries.”

Last year more than 2,000 pounds of food was harvested and distributed. For more information or to volunteer, call Karabinis at (740) 351-3572.