Several weeks ago, I got an invite to a Facebook group called "The Giving Garden". I noticed it was based in Hartford, my first home in Ohio County. I joined the group and I was eager to learn more about it.

Natalie Grant Bobadilla is my third cousin. She has always had the biggest heart and she cares about her community. She told me got the idea from a friend in Louisville. That particular garden thrived in its first year, and Natalie keep the idea in mind for a perhaps a later project. She then mentioned that people are sometimes ashamed of food insecurity, but sometimes people just enjoy coming together to do something.

The idea of a community garden in Ohio County helped Natalie as a kind of therapy while all of us were dealing and some of us are still dealing with the pandemic. The garden could also be a safe activity the community could participate in; to gather in community fellowship. "The Giving Garden" was born.

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Natalie Grant Bobadilla

Natalie teamed up with a classmate of her daughters, Jakob Quisenberry, a young man from the Fordsville area who was concerned about kids that fell through the cracks, the ones who didn't qualify for the backpack program, or their parents were too proud to ask for help. Natalie then contacted the folks at the Ohio County Park, explained the community garden idea and now, the have approximately one acre that will develop into a bounty for those who want to receive it.

The group is taking donations and they welcome all volunteers to help get the planting going. Natalie said the first work day, they had volunteers of all ages from not only Ohio County, but also from McLean and Hancock counties. That got me thinking, what other counties, small towns are doing this? I would say plenty or maybe this story will spark your interest.

To join the group and to get updates on work days and donation needs, go HERE. Natalie said they hope to have a harvest in mid to late summer.

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