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Community Garden Spotlight of the Month

Wagner Farms Arboretum and Gardens, New Jersey

 

Celebrating Community and Growth: The Story of Wagner Farms Arboretum and Gardens


In the heart of Warren, New Jersey, lies a vibrant oasis where community spirit and sustainable practices flourish: Wagner Farms Arboretum and Gardens. This hidden gem isn't just a collection of plots; it's a testament to the power of unity and the profound impact a dedicated group of volunteers can make.

Established in 2008, Wagner Farms is more than a garden—it's a beacon of hope and nourishment for both body and soul. With 107 plots in the Community Garden and an additional 60 plots in the Giving Garden, this sprawling expanse of greenery serves as a haven for gardeners of all ages and abilities.

What sets Wagner Farms apart is its unwavering commitment to preserving open space and fostering a healthy relationship between people, plants, and the environment. Here, gardening isn't just a hobby; it's a way of life. Gardeners rent plots to grow fresh, organic produce for their families while also volunteering in the Giving Garden to provide nourishment for those in need.

The Giving Garden isn't just about giving away surplus crops; it's about giving back to the community and supporting those facing food insecurity. Since its inception, Wagner Farms has donated over 100,000 pounds of fresh produce and fruit to local charities, including the Somerset County Foodbank, Salvation Army, and various soup kitchens and food pantries.

But Wagner Farms isn't just about growing vegetables; it's about cultivating a sense of belonging and connection. In addition to traditional garden plots, the farm features a Senior Garden with waist-high raised beds designed specifically for seniors over 70 and physically challenged adults. Here, older members of the community can tend to their gardens with ease, enjoying the therapeutic benefits of gardening while staying active and engaged.

The success of Wagner Farms wouldn't be possible without the dedication of its volunteers. From tending to compost bins to organizing fundraising events, every aspect of the farm is a collective endeavor. And speaking of fundraisers, one event stands out above the rest: "Brite Nites."

Brite Nites is a magical evening where visitors are invited to take a walking tour through the garden, marveling at creatively carved pumpkins that illuminate the night with their glow. From whimsical designs like spaceships and dragons to patriotic displays like the American flag, Brite Nites is a celebration of creativity, community, and the spirit of giving.

But beyond the pumpkins and the gardens, Wagner Farms is also a hub of education and outreach. Through their website and Facebook page (https://www.wfafnj.org/), they share gardening tips, event updates, and monthly newsletters filled with valuable insights and information. Their commitment to educating their members and the wider community reflects their belief in the power of knowledge to inspire positive change.

As we celebrate the story of Wagner Farms Arboretum and Gardens, we're reminded of the transformative power of community and the importance of coming together to nurture both the land and each other. In a world where division often seems to reign, places like Wagner Farms serve as a reminder that when we work together, we can create something truly beautiful. So here's to Wagner Farms, and to all the community gardens out there making a difference, one plot at a time.




Interested in submitting your garden for a chance to be featured as the community garden spotlight of the month? Click HERE.










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