TROY — The community garden at Lincoln Community Center is now regimented with newly raised beds, thanks to the proactive efforts of a local Boy Scout.
Cade Johnson, a Troy High School senior and scout with Troop 365 in Troy, approached the staff at Lincoln about the possibility of doing his Eagle Scout project at the center. After discussions with gardener Niall Foster and Executive Director Shane Carter, Cade developed the idea to install raised beds in the community garden, which would allow for easier maintenance and ensure longevity for the garden’s contents each season.
“My little brother, who is 10, actually plays basketball at the Lincoln Center,” Cade said. “I was talking with Shane, and he said there were a lot of projects that needed done. We went through a list of possible projects, and the garden was the one I picked out.”
All lumber for the project was donated by Denlinger & Sons Builders Inc.
“Bart Denlinger is on the board, so we reached out to him to see if he’d at least deliver the lumber,” Foster said. “His response was, ‘I’ll pay for it and deliver it.’”
On Saturday, Oct. 20, the raised beds were constructed on site by Cade, along with six volunteers, including other Boy Scouts and Cade’s grandfather. Each of the 10 beds measures 12-feet-by-4-feet. The beds will be filled with topsoil and composted manure before the next growing season.
In addition to efficiency of maintenance, the beds will allow for better organization in seasons to come.
“There’ll be specific plants that go in each bed,” Foster said. “We regularly plant things like lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, onions, spinach, and kale. We sold our corn at a stall in the farmer’s market this year.”
“I think it turned out very well,” Cade said. “All the beds are evenly spaced apart, and the wood looks really nice. It really came together.”
After graduating in the spring, Cade would like to pursue a career in genetics.
In 2019, the center is looking to build support with the involvement of the youth, extended families, and local gardeners to create a multi-generational community garden. In conjunction with the local OSU Extension Office, Lincoln hopes to run classes throughout the growing season to involve and educate kids as crops go through various stages, inluding planting, tilling, harvesting, and sales.
“We’d like to grow vegetables for local restaurants,” Foster said. “We’ll sell to them, and at the end of the summer, the kids will share whatever profit we make on that project. It’s to teach the kids where their food comes from — that food doesn’t just come from the supermarket — but also to teach them the value of hard work.”
Those interested in contributing to the community garden can contact Lincoln Community Center at (937) 335-2715.
For more information, visit www.lcctroy.com.