Watertown community gardeners hope for hefty harvest

Community Garden

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - A community garden in Watertown is looking to grow a literal ton of food.

The garden on Colorado Avenue in the city is flourishing.

Three years ago, the quarter acre of land it now sits on was empty.

Despite its growth, “people don’t even know its here,” said Sue Gwise, a Horticulture Educator for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County.

The garden is here because of the partnership with her organization, Chapin Living Waters, and the Watertown Urban mission.

The goal is to feed people in need.

“You name it we’ve got it; lettuce, spinach, carrots, peppers, tomatoes,” said Gwise.

David Rivers from Chapin says his organization’s mission is to help people grow vegetables, in the U.S. and abroad, with drip irrigation.

The group offers the technology and the land to do that here.

“It’s important here too because there are people here that are in need, and wherever there are people in need we need to be able to help,” said Rivers, the interim executive director of Chapin.

Master gardeners work in the garden until about October creating hundreds of pounds of produce. That produce ends up at the Watertown Urban Mission, which serves hundreds of families a year.

“In the month of July we served 627 families and provided meals equivalent to more than 23,000 meals,” said Dawn Cole, executive director of the Watertown Urban Mission.

Last year the garden produced 1,600 pounds of produce for the mission. This year they are hoping for a ton.

“The master gardeners are working super hard. I think we are on track to reach that 2,000 goal this year,” said Cole.

Today their total stands at 315 lbs.

The official total will be collected in October, but until then, the harvesting continues for people in need.

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