Community Garden Comes To Fruition

The Stafford Community Garden at Mill Creek is open to any who wish to volunteer. (Photo by Chris Lundy)

STAFFORD – Overlooking the Mill Creek lagoons is a volunteer-run community garden that’s starting to produce a lot of produce.

(Photo by Chris Lundy)

The Stafford Community Garden at Mill Creek is located near the park where the community center used to be on Mill Creek Road. This is the second community garden in town, not to be confused with the one on Manahawkin Lake.

Richard Gilchrist is one of the Beach Haven West residents who oversees the garden. He says it is starting to produce all sorts of vegetables, like tomatoes, eggplant, radishes, onion, corn, lettuce and kale.

It was prepared in 2016, but this is the first year that it is being harvested. And it is certainly being successful. Gardeners have shared stories about how many vegetables are being picked – and how big and healthy they are.

A five-person volunteer committee takes care of the garden’s administration, made up of Gilchrest, Frances Kosa, Jeanine Sciglitano, Maribeth McGrover, and Mike Stec. The garden is managed by Stec and “Farmer Bob.”

(Photo by Chris Lundy)

Those who work the land get food for free. Everyone else can have some for a donation, Gilchrist said.

“We’re always looking for volunteers,” he said. In the future, they want to set aside an area just for children. The adults will prepare the soil, but the kids will plant the seeds, care for the plants, and pick the vegetables. That way, they’ll learn a lot about where their food comes from.

Anyone who wants to help out, or if they want more information, is encouraged to either stop by the garden or call Gilchrist at 908-265-2637.

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Chris Lundy is News Editor at Micromedia. He has covered Ocean County news and features in various publications since 2003. Lundy worked for Gannett with articles in The Beacon, Observer and Asbury Park Press. He's also written for the Community Connection, Patch and ShoreBeat.