Hershey’s Mill has a community garden situated on approximately 2 acres, located between one of the many Ridley creek branches in the Mill and one of the Hershey’s Mill reservoirs. It is diagonally across the street from the pool and tennis courts and can be accessed by a gravel road that runs off Chandler Drive. It is hidden from street view by a row of trees and shrubs. There are 162 garden plots that vary in size, but for the most part are either 15’ x 15’ or 15’ x 30’. The gardens are worked by about 170 Hershey’s Mill residents who enjoy getting their hands into Mother Nature’s wonderful soil in their gardens. Each gardener grows a variety of vegetables and flowers of their own choosing. The majority of the rules under which the garden is governed relate to the maintenance of garden plots, common areas and use of pesticides. There are 7 row captains who are assigned 5 garden rows each and “manage” their areas to provide technical help and discuss any issues with individual gardeners.
Garden plots are free of charge and are assigned from a wait-list as they become available. Once assigned, they stay with the assignee until that person relinquishes their holding. The only expenses are plants, seeds, physical additions such as gates, new fencing or any other improvements each individual makes to their space. These improvements stay with the garden. In addition, one can expect to expend plenty of joyful and contemplative time investing the “sweat equity” that it takes to bring forth the bounty of the soil.
Garden tools, wheelbarrows, gas powered cultivators and the like are available throughout the growing season. These are stored in a community managed shed, located half way back on the garden access road. There are approximately 8 watering stations located in the middle aisle of the garden and water for irrigation is available as a Hershey’s Mill provided amenity. The garden shed is open from mid-March through the middle of November. Water is available from mid-April through mid-November.
To obtain a plot call the Garden contact (currently Jim DiCarlo – see HM directory or Guide and Digest for contact information). In most cases you will be placed on the Garden wait-list. If past history holds true, everyone on the wait list will be assigned a plot by late May. Most however, will have a plot assigned earlier in the growing season.