Cassopolis plans community garden

Published 10:21 pm Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Cassopolis is having a meeting at 10 a.m. May 5 in the Cass District Library Silver Room to establish a community garden.
Village Manager Meg Cluckey is providing a large lot with water between Harding and Johnson streets, according to Carol Benjamin of the planning commission and a downtown property owner.
“This meeting is to gauge the interest and commitment of the community regarding” what Benjamin, who grew up on a farm and “loves to garden,” calls “Cassoportunities.”
Her core group of four or five people who would “like to see it take off” are working with Mark VanTil, executive director of Niles Community Gardens, who also advised Dowagiac gardeners.
VanTil will be in attendance to encourage and help Cassopolis with advice on best practices and master gardener tips.
Niles had four people attend its initial meeting, but within three years grew from three to 10 gardens clustered around schools.
While the Cassopolis location is less visible, it is in the same neighborhood as Sam Adams Elementary School.
“It’s fenced and looks like a prairie right now,” Benjamin, a former Niles resident who first came to Cassopolis in 1996, said Tuesday.
“I love Cassopolis,” she said. “It has a lot of potential and good people. I want to push getting something done. You have to build community to build economic growth. All of us little towns need to work together.”
Another “Cassoportunity” Benjamin sees is retooling the village farm market and giving it a more visible location.
Call Benjamin at (269) 228-8063.