Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

A New Biting Case for Padi | Reaction to Dog That Bit Boy Led to Pending Change in State Law

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

A New Biting Case for Padi | Reaction to Dog That Bit Boy Led to Pending Change in State Law

Article excerpt

LAKEWOOD RANCH

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- A year after the idea sprouted, gardeners turned earth and began tending to their 4-by-8 plots in the Greenbrook Community Garden.

In time, the gardeners will get to know each other, harvest the fruits of their labor and learn about the best crops, most likely vegetables and herbs, to plant each growing season.

Community gardens are popular in affluent places like Lakewood Ranch, where deed restrictions prohibit backyard gardens. They also are popping up in places that are "food deserts," a trendy term describing urban areas far from markets where produce can be purchased.

"A garden is an important part of a community," said Susan Griffith, program assistant for community gardens at the Manatee County Extension Service. "It brings people together of different generations and ethnic backgrounds. It brings them together with a common interest."

And the interest is high. There are waiting lists for plots at eight Sarasota County gardens, and more gardens are being established in Manatee County, she said.

A week before specific sites were assigned, 17 of the 24 ground plots at the new Greenbrook garden were reserved, but there is room for 32. The plots, within a locked, fenced area, are protected. Though the initial plans of including a pavilion, some table-top height beds and a permanent shed were scaled down, there is room for expansion. The garden is next to the Paw Park and soccer fields in the Adventure Park.

"I would like to show the board there is community interest," said Joe Sidiski, a Community Development District 4 board supervisor who has seen the project through from idea to inception. "Some thought it might become a white elephant. Based on what I'm seeing, that won't be the case."

Sidiski, who successfully lobbied for $4,000 in garden funding last year from other CDD supervisors, will ask them to contribute a little more for next year's budget. …

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