Noblesville Community Garden Returns To SW Quadrant In Downtown Noblesville

A newly-energized group of volunteers is eager to provide fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs to area residents and neighborhood families this summer. Two community call-out meetings are planned for Saturday March 25 9-11AM and Thursday April 6 6:30 – 8:00PM at Mill Top Banquet & Conference Center, 802 Mulberry Street. All who are interested in renting a garden plot and/or volunteering are welcome. Learn more about the garden by emailing [email protected] or visit .

Located near Southside Park at Pleasant and 3rd Streets, in past years the garden served as an instructional and experiential place for students and educational non-profits, such as the Girl Scouts of Central Indiana. Forty percent of the gardening space will be utilized to grow vegetables for the community, aimed at reducing food instability in the neighborhoods near the garden. The remaining sixty percent garden plots will be allotted to gardeners interested in renting a plot for their own vegetable production. Gardeners agree to use organic gardening methods, and to refrain from using conventional, synthetic herbicides and pesticides. Along with vegetables, an existing pollinator garden will be supplemented with additional native plants. Strategically planting flowers will increase the honeybee population near the garden, increasing future harvests.

Nine years ago, this community garden began at a different location, at Arbuckle’s off 13th Street. Through a use agreement negotiated with the city of Noblesville, the garden relocated to the present location seven years ago. From 2018 through 2022, led by local college professor Renee Rule, the garden was a place for families and residents to grow food in an organic setting. Noblesville business leader and philanthropist Rocky Shanehsaz is proud to be the initial provider of funding in 2014, along with a recent gift to relaunch the garden covering expenses for 2023 for a liability insurance policy and for access to city water.

Community gardens serve as a priceless resource, not only for the food-cultivation, but for the camaraderie and socialization that occurs when community members meet while gardening. A research paper titled ‘Benefits of Community Gardening on Quality-of-Life,’ published by the Horticultural Research Institute, revealed gardens help to meet ”quality-of-life needs on the higher levels of esteem and self-actualization.” (HRI Source).The community garden aims to be a place for neighbors to meet and interact, both sharing and learning how to grow food.

With national food insecurity on the rise, recent data from the USDA shows Indiana placing 12th out of US states for those most at risk of hunger. (USDA Source) The current Indiana average is around 13.5 percent of food-insecure households, equating to about 1 in 7 families. The national average for food instability is 10.2 percent. In Hamilton County this number is 9.4 percent. Statistics from Gleaners Food Bank, a central Indiana , show that out of the 25,000 food-deficient people in Hamilton County, over 6,300 of them are children. (Gleaners Source)

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