LEWISBURG — Volunteer hours resumed at the Lewisburg Community Garden.

The garden reopened April 10 and is located along North Water Street near Saint Anthony Street. Volunteers are sought from 4-7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays to plant, weed and harvest.

No experience is necessary. Safety rules for distancing, masking and disinfecting are followed with respect to COVID-19.

“You get to meet a lot of really cool people. You’re also growing food for your friends and neighbors in Lewisburg and in the region,” said Lauren Ziolkowski, food access coordinator, Office of Civic Engagement, Bucknell University.

“There’s always really good conversation going on among the volunteers which is something I really appreciate,” Ziolkowski said.

To become a volunteer, sign up at tinyurl.com/GardenHours2021 or stop by during volunteer hours.

“One of the bonuses about volunteering here is that there’s always surplus food,” said Carl Nelson, education and outreach coordinator, Office of Civic Engagement. “When you come to help out there’s usually some extra asparagus, some extra spinach.”

Community members rent individual plots laid out on one half of the garden. Approximately 53 households rented the plots and none are currently available. However, there are plots available at the Union County Community Garden on Hafer Road near Country Cupboard, Ziolkowski said.

A free-food stand sits just outside the garden for anyone to pick from while passing by. That includes volunteers, of course.

Ziolkowski said the garden has a capacity of about 10 to 15 volunteers. That number could increase should pandemic protocols ease as the year wears on, Ziolkowski said.

The Office of Civic Engagement grows and harvests on the other half of the Lewisburg Community Garden, which was established in 2012 as a joint partnership with the borough. Civic Engagement donates vegetables to local food access programs in Union County including the newly established Food Hub at the Lewisburg YMCA and a snack-pack program at Lewisburg Area School District.

From 2,000 to 3,000 pounds are harvested and donated throughout the growing season, Nelson said.

“Last year, that might have been even more because we shifted some of our crops toward less toil and labor. We had a lot of sweet potatoes and butternut squash that were heavier and easier to grow,” Nelson said.

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