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Community Garden Sprouts To Life In Oswego

By Chrissa Butler

OSWEGO, NY – A strip of city land running along East Schuyler Street bordering the Fort Ontario historic site in Oswego has gotten new life as a community garden.

Tom Collette, Andy Nelson, Mary Anne Hogan in the garden
Tom Collette, Andy Nelson and Mary Anne Hogan chat in the garden

Raised beds in various states of planting line the site which is as long as several blocks as a group of local residents bring their dream of growing vegetables in the city to life.

What began as a dream several years ago is finally a reality, site manager Tom Collette said.

“So far, for the point we’re at, it’s been successful,” he said.

On a recent weekday morning, Collette was at work with fellow garden members Mary Anne Hogan and her husband, Andy Nelson.

They live only a couple of blocks away from the site, truly reveling in it’s neighborhood status.

Hogan said that she and her husband have adopted a couple of plots, growing vegetables for their neighbors, many of whom are elderly.

She has enjoyed seeing a variety of families and groups work on their own plots, and said the weekends bring a lot of the gardeners out.

“We want people to get the feel of growing some of their own food,” Hogan said.

Using no pesticides, the food grown is organic.

Mary Anne Hogan watering plants
Mary Anne Hogan watering plants

Hogan is personally growing cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, corn, beans and peppers.

She is watering her plants with water donated by the neighboring ice skating rink.

The land is donated by the city as well as the compost.

All of the community support, she said, makes it “a true community garden.”

“It was a really good plan and it’s coming together,” Hogan said.  “It has easy access and it’s a true community garden.”

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