New community garden working from the ground up

SARANAC LAKE - What began as mere interest in the prospect of having a community garden, now has 21 plots with a second site in the works.

After speaking with Saranac Lake's Green Circle founder, Gail Brill, Ellen Beberman took it upon herself to begin what is now known as the Common Ground Garden.

"I went to them and said 'I want to do some gardening for the community. Is there interest in a community garden?'" recalled Beberman. "Members of The Green Circle ... said 'Well, yes, our members are interested in doing this.' And I said 'Okay, let's do it.'"

Last fall the Steering Committee of the Common Ground Garden began searching for a piece of land to put an allotment-style garden. Finally they found what they were looking for.

"I got a tip that [Adirondack Medical Center] had bought some properties that they weren't using," Beberman explained, "and when we asked them about it, they were were very happy to let us use it."

"They're very supportive of this project," she added.

Beberman said originally the group had around 45 people interested in having a 12-foot by 20-foot plot on the Old Lake Colby Road site, but in the end there was only enough space to allow 21 plots.

However, according to a press release from AMC, more space may be available for next year.

"A second garden site at the former village landfill will be prepared this spring and summer for planting in 2010," stated the press release.

According to Beberman, as soon as the first plot is set, she is open to begin work on the second site.

"If somebody's interested in working on getting ready for next year, that would be great," she said. "We'll start it at any time."

The Common Ground Garden is also hosting a series of lectures every other Tuesday evening from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at 254 Old Lake Colby Road for interested gardeners.

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