St. Francis-In-The-Fields gardens flourish

Rejuvenate 0321 St Francis garden plots
The gardens at St. Francis-In-The-Fields in Zionsville. (Submitted photo)

By Mark Ambrogi

St. Francis-In-The-Fields Community Gardens have kept growing in the past six years.

The gardens are on the east side of St. Francis-In-The-Fields Episcopal Church, 1525 Mulberry St., Zionsville.

“We have between 60 and 70 plots, (depending) on how many we open up,” said Ingrid Schwegler Cole, coordinator for the community gardens project. “We have two types of plots. We have plots we rent out to individual gardeners, which could be community members or congregation members. For those, we ask the gardeners to make a donation of 10 percent of their produce, which will be distributed to two food pantries.”

The pantries are Zionsville Presbyterian Church and the Caring Center in Lebanon.

About one-fourth of the garden space is reserved for nonprofit organizations, perhaps another church or Boys and Girls Club.

“Those groups will donate 100 percent of their produce to the food pantries,” said Schwegler Cole, who lives in Zionsville near the church.

The gardens started in 2011.

“In the beginning there was only about half of what we have today,” Schwegler Cole said. “It worked well so we decided to double the area that is being rented out.”

Schwegler Cole said the gardens would like to establish a compost this year.

Some gardeners rent one plot while others rent two, Schwegler Cole said.

“We have water available and hoses, which not all the gardens have,” Schwegler Cole said. “This year for the first time we are requiring chemical-free gardening.”

A Facebook page about the gardens was created this month.

Applications for lease of the garden plots are available each spring for the following summer. For information, contact [email protected].