The Scioto County Soil and Water Conservation District joined in Thursday morning with the Greater Portsmouth Area Board of Realtors to plant 12 fruit trees in the Salvation Army Garden, located behind the Salvation Army on the corner of 9th and Finley streets in Portsmouth.
“This is our second year service project in collaboration with the Greater Portsmouth Area Board of Realtors,” Kate Sowards, with Soil and Water explained. “Last year, they donated some cash, which we used to purchase some lumber that we created the six garden beds with. This year, they came back and this was the idea – to plant some fruit trees.”
Sowards further explained that with community buy in the hope is to see the garden develop into a small farm or large urban garden. The foods produced by the space go to support the Salvation Army’s food programs, including food pantry.
“It didn’t go to waste. It was actually used,” Sowards was excited to announce about last year’s harvest.
Thursday the group planted 12 trees including three apple trees, two pear trees, two cherry trees, 2 peach trees, two plum trees and one nectarine tree. The various fruit trees were donated by the individual realtor offices. Coleman’s Garden Center on Second Street in Portsmouth donated the most expensive tree and is where the trees were purchased.
More man hours are needed to see the garden project become a success.
“This is one of those projects that when people hear about it, they are like, ‘Wow! That’s wonderful,’” Sowards commented. “Now, I need people to show up to help us water these trees and work in the gardens.”
Volunteers can show up at 10 a.m., on Tuesdays when a couple hours are allotted to maintain the garden.
“We need help,” Sowards stressed.
Volunteers do not need to have any skill, experience or ability level.
“We teach 100 percent. Everyday is a learning experience. Everyday in the garden is,” Sowards stated.”I just want enthusiasm.”
Volunteers include those who have never gardened before as well as those with disabilities. It is a fun community activity. Thursday Realtor Anna Johnson had the help of her daughter Catherine Brickey, who said that she was excited to give back to the community.
In addition to planting the garden, the group also teaches cooking and nutrition classes to help individuals prepare foods they may have never eaten or cooked with. For more inforation about the various programs offered by SCSWCD, visit the group’s Facebook page.
Reach Nikki Blankenship at 740-353-3101 ext. 1931.