Plots to Plates community provides produce for school, learning opportunities for community

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The Plots to Plates Organic Community Garden behind Carmel Middle School is in full bloom. This year marks the sixth growing season for the garden, which was founded by the Carmel Clay Schools Green Team on land that was formerly vacant.

The Plots to Plates Organic Community Garden has 98 community member plots and 320 square feet dedicated to growing produce for CMS school lunches and four plots dedicated to local food pantries.

MaryEllen St. Angelo is a member of the CCS Green Team who helps run Plots to Plates. St. Angelo said that the core committee for the garden came up with the idea of a monthly gathering that would serve a dual purpose — a social time to foster community, and learning session for the gardeners. “Donuts & Dirt” is held on the second Saturday of each month throughout the growing season.

“We had a great turnout (at the July event). We had a lot of people come,” St. Angelo said. “This time I gave a prepared talk on organic weed and pest management. It seems like whenever we have an organized talk, we get a better turnout.”

The garden is open to the community to enjoy and observe, but the produce from the plots is private. The enclosed space has picnic tables, a stage, a playground, a meditation area and a Little Free Library.

“All the food in the plots belongs to the people who grow it, but we want people to come and enjoy the wildlife and the space,” St. Angelo said. “I would love for people to see the garden as an oasis.”

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