Noon luncheon meetings are held on the first two Tuesdays of each month, at Charlie Brown's Steakhouse in Chatham Township. Breakfast meetings are held at 8:00 AM on the last two or three Tuesdays of each month. Breakfast meetings are held at Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse in Chatham Township. Guests are always welcomed to attend our Tuesday meetings. COME JOIN US


Chatham Community Garden Program by Dick Plambeck

Marta McDowell and Dick Plambeck at Charlie Brown’s
Plambeck overviewed Chatham Community Garden, which grew from the vision of a small number of leaders who wanted local residents to be able to raise healthy vegetables and flowers with their own hands. Dick described the careful planning and dedicated work that led to the first successful season of the Garden. Also present at the meeting was Master Gardener Marta McDowell who played an important role in planning the garden and making it an important part of Chatham. Many dedicated volunteers from diverse organizations came together to make the garden real.

Dick focused on the process for building and managing a community garden by presenting PowerPoint charts. He said a community garden is a shared area for individuals to plant, grow and harvest. It is also an opportunity to grow community spirit and expand ecological education.

 Existing local and distant community gardens were reviewed to learn from past experience. Working with all involved in the project, Dick established rules for plot-holders to follow. The existing garden has 40 plots which are 10 feet square. Starting early in 2010 the garden was built, mostly by volunteers, on land near Division Ave. leased from PSE&G at $1 per year. Opening on May 1, all plots were planted by June 1.

Produce was harvested and 110 pounds of excess given to the Morristown Food Pantry. (Local press has followed the activities – click here to view ChathamPatch stories.) Tomatoes grown in the garden won the Chatham Farmers’ Market Tomato Cook-off contest during the summer. On June 17 the garden won the Morris Tomorrow McFlowertown Award.

Dick showed many interesting photographs during his program. Some photos were taken by Marta McDowell and you can view them on her ChathamCommunityGarden blog.

Looking into the future, the Chatham Garden leadership wants to build more plots to meet the demands of a waitlist of 48 applicants. Expansion near the present site and other sites is under study.

Dick has been making presentations to people in nearby communities, sharing Chathams’s experiences so that others can plan and build community gardens serving local residents.

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