wg community garden_5Catholic Charities of Schuyler County was recently awarded a grant for $7,390 from the Triangle Fund to operate the Watkins Glen Community Garden Youth Project. Through this funding at-risk youth will be hired to prepare the Garden, care for the plants, harvest and distribute produce to senior housing facilities and the Schuyler Outreach network of Food Pantries.

The youth workers will gain entrepreneurial skills as they develop and operate a small Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) pilot project. Through the CSA, small families and single person households will receive weekly distributions of fresh produce. This pilot project is designed specifically for the elderly population who welcomes a small supply and may have limited ability to farm their own produce. The pilot project provides an ideal setting for youth to develop and practice skills in business development; financial and bookkeeping practices; and weighing, measuring, tracking, and planning to ensure produce is continuously available throughout the growing season.

For a small donation ($5 for individual size/$10 for family size), community members are provided a Roto-tilled plot, access to free seeds and gardening tools, educational support on planting and growing, and physical assistance as needed. One-third of the garden is designated as the community plot from which the produce is distributed to Schuyler Outreach food pantries and housing facilities within the community. The Village of Watkins Glen donates the water that is used to water the produce within the garden.

As the only youth-operated Community Garden in Schuyler County, this project allows youth an opportunity to develop life skills in a most natural environment surrounded by adults who provide ongoing challenge accompanied with direction and support. The Watkins Glen Community Garden is a project of Catholic Charities of Schuyler County. For more information or to volunteer in the Garden, please call Jessie Ketter at 607-535-2815, email Jessie or visit their page.