The Garden of Giving plowing ahead
LINDA KOEHLER/TIMES NEWS Tammy Graeber, director and founder of The Garden of Giving, proudly sits on The Garden's new New Holland tractor, purchased from Charles S. Snyder, Inc. of Tamaqua. Next to her is Jordan Milewski, New Holland territory sales manager and left is Marsha Thomas, Charles S. Snyder, Inc. comptroller and right, Russell Snyder, Charles S. Snyder, Inc. salesman. "This is a milestone for The Garden," says Graeber. "It's a happy day for us."
Dreams do come true. Sometimes they arrive on the back of a trailer in bright New Holland blue.
It was Tammy Graeber's dream to someday have a tractor for the Garden of Giving, the 501c3 nonprofit garden she founded five years ago in McMichaels off Rt. 715. The Garden of Giving grows fresh vegetables and fruit, and provides fresh eggs to supplement local food pantries in Monroe County with fresh vegetables and fruit for families in need.
A garden is filled with long rows to hoe.
But thanks to receiving a grant from Sanofi and a generous nonprofit discount from Charles S. Snyder, Inc. of Tamaqua, a full service equipment dealer, a brand new New Holland Boomer T1530 Series, 45 hp tractor with a 72-inch bucket, a rotary cutter, and 78-inch disk arrived at The Garden of Giving on Thursday, April 18.
"This is a milestone. The Garden has a growing demand for our vegetables and eggs. Since the 2011 growing season, several more food banks have requested our products. In order to supply them, we will have to increase our crop yields by increasing the planting area. The need for a tractor becomes even more evident when this is considered. The acquisition of this tractor will permit us to expand the Garden and better meet the growing need from food banks due to the ever increasing poverty levels here in Monroe County. The tractor will be used to install fencing, cultivate garden soil, continuously turn compost piles, create future garden beds, planting of field crops, planting of winter cover crops and for snow removal to housed chickens," says Graeber, The Garden's director.
It will also see that the volunteers suffer less backaches.
Jason Smith, a local farmer, has promised to run the equipment for The Garden until his demise or is physically unable to do so.
"I'm very thankful for that, too," says Graeber.
Along with Graeber and Candace Roper, The Garden's secretary, on hand to see the tractor arrive at its new home was Jordan Milewski, New Holland territory Sales Manager, Marsha Thomas, comptroller of Charles S. Snyder, Inc. and Russell Snyder, Charles S. Snyder, Inc. salesman.
"We want to thank Charles S. Snyder for the generous discount and waiving of the set up and delivery fee, and are especially grateful to our largest contributor Sanofi Pasteur for the tractor grant. We would also like to thank all our other generous local contributors donating over $100 each who allowed us to acquire the accessories," Graeber adds.
Marsha Thomas mentioned The Garden of Giving to her church, St. Peter's Union Church in Mantzville.
"Every Sunday we have a Joyful Noise giving. Every month we give a donation to a charity or organization. I submitted The Garden as a possible charity and it was picked last month. We collected $337.15," says Ms. Thomas.
The Garden is in constant need of donations and volunteers, mostly Saturdays and Sundays. Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, youth groups, and any and all organizations are invited to help, along with individuals.
The Garden's volunteers have already planted 1,000 sets of onions were planted on March 16, and on April 21, 125 crowns of asparagus will go in along with three beds of carrots.
This Saturday, April 20 from 8 a.m.-8 p.m., The Garden of Giving will have a truck at the Tractor Supply in Brodheadsville, for a Fill The Truck event, asking for donations of feed for its 65 hens which produces over 350 eggs a week.
"Thank you to all of you who have supported and helped us get to this point. Without the community, I couldn't do this," says Graeber.
Visit thegardenofgiving.org or contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or (570) 402-1282.