Mark Allen’s Story
I have completed U of Ill, Champaign Crop Science, Soils, and Hort. All 16 week credited classes. I consider my skills above average, Im 62, Boston U, MBA – HR 1997,
Ten Batavia families have joined together at the Batavia Community Garden to produce organic veg for our local food pantry. Demand exceeds our abilities and space. BCC is beginning our third year, we meet monthly, maintain min., define duties, etc. We recruit Boy / Girls Scouts, social groups, concerned citizens to assist with maintenance, soil development, weeding, planting, etc. Our skills have improved over the years. The group shares ideas with young adults on the lost art of gardening and benifits of organic methods. We provide activities to troubled young adults. BCC is a place for those without garden space to get involved with organic methods. As an experienced gardener I have learned allot when listening or teaching to others.
Due to high demand we could use a green house to extend our growing season. The demand for perishable and high cost vegetables exceeds our abilities. Attempts to build a hoop style growing area ended up next door due to high winds. We have the man power and skills to produce cole crops well into December and start up on April. I\’ve reviewed many designs and the BCG Bd has many aspiring ideas for what is appropriate.
Batavia was settled in 1830 as a wind mill manufacturing town. We are paved and roofed at 99%. Our garden is a breath of fresh air, provides nesting and habitat for the pollinators and birds. We produced +-900 lbs. and +- 40 species of veg. for the less fortunate. BCG is open on 8 weekends for youth and adults to learn the principles of organic gardening. Last spring Kane County Forest Preserve provided 50 prairie plants for demonstration of our native landscape and importance of crop diversity. We provide all vegetables to Batavia Food Pantry at no cost. We begin our 40 lbs of lama manure at $10 this spring. We educate and provide a place for 100\’s of young adults. The City of Batavia is very grateful for citizens action, downtown revitalization, citizen concern to environment,opportunities to less fortunate and a place for young adults. We ask the city & crews for help and they provide dump trucks, brush hogs, plumbing, and access to dollars from corp sponsors.