Pumpkin patch kidsPublished 11:12pm Wednesday, September 7, 2011
To say Niles Community Gardens’ first pumpkin patch is a successful effort is an understatement.
“We anticipate about 2,500 pumpkins,” said Mark VanTil, community garden organizer.
Pumpkin growers will now be sharing the fruits of that 1.25-acre bounty with the public.
Located behind Northside Child Development Center next to the community garden, the pumpkin patch will be open for a “u-pick” for Niles Community Schools students and their families Sept. 16-23 from 3 to 7 p.m.; it will be
closed Sunday, Sept. 18.
Pumpkins range from a $5 to $10 donation each, depending on size and variety. Eighty percent of the profits will benefit the district; the rest will go toward Niles Community Gardens. VanTil said he would like to have a garden at every school in the district within the next two years.
The pumpkin patch was started with the help of many generous community members, including Scott Roberts, who volunteered to trench the water, and Jim Hippler and Jeff Saylor, who cultivated the field, in addition to several other volunteers who helped plant and maintain the pumpkins. Ring Lardner Middle School students planted the pumpkin seeds, and some students returned to help weed.
The pumpkin patch will be open to the general public from Sept. 24 to the end of the season Monday through Friday from 3 to 7 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 6 p.m.
VanTil said a pumpkin carving contest is planned for Oct. 15 at Northside. More information will be available at a later date.
To learn more about Niles Community Gardens, visit its Facebook page.
Tags: Niles community garden