• 64°

Oxford Park Commission to build neighborhood garden in Price Hill Park

Price Hill Park is a small park hidden off Price Hill Drive that offers all the amenities of a fun place to spend an afternoon — swings, slides, basketball courts and soon, a working garden that will provide free fruits and veggies to the community.

The Oxford Park Commission will be clearing a 300-foot planting are at the bottom of the hill at the park. There, OPC employees will till the dirt, plant the seeds and water the crops when needed. Other than that, the garden will be left open for residents to care for and enjoy the fruits and veggies that will grow there.

OPC Director Seth Gaines said planting will begin soon at the park. Crops will be ones that produce food and are easily cared for, like okra, corn, melons, tomatoes and others.

“We’re looking at food-bearing plants that don’t take a lot of maintenance,” he said.

The garden will be fenced off enough to thwart local animals in the  neighborhood from coming and stealing all the food.

“We’ll grow it and water it, and then the community can pick it,” Gaines said. “We will just ask that people take what they need only and leave some for other community members to enjoy.”

Gaines said he’s working with Oxford Community Garden on getting advice on the best and easiest food plants to put in the garden.

“It was suggested we plant cantaloupe,” Gaines said. “Apparently they grow fast and without much maintenance.”

Unlike the Community Garden, there will be no charges associated with the Price Hill garden.

“Residents who feel led are welcome to come and help in the garden,” Gaines said. “In fact, we encourage it.”

Community members who wish to have their own gardening plot but maybe don’t have the space for them, are welcome to sign up for one through the Oxford Community Garden. Rates range from about $20 to $35, depending on the plot size, as well as a $10 membership fee to be a member of the Oxford Community Garden.

The garden at Price Hill won’t be sectioned off for individual growing plots. The entire 300-growing space will be shared by everyone in the neighborhood.

Gaines said it’s OPC’s goal to plant food-bearing trees or plants somewhere in the community each year. Last year, fruit and nut trees were planted at Garden Terrace Park; however, they still have a year or two before they start producing fruit and nuts.

“If this garden is successful at Price Hill Park, we may look at doing one at another park next year,” Gaines said recently.

For more information on the Price Hill Park garden, call OPC at 662-232-2380 and for the Oxford Community Garden, visit http://www.oxfordcga.org.