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Honesdale community garden in bloom

May 11, 2011

Come and get your hands dirty in the cool, rich earth and start to grow your own food.

That’s the motto of a group called Transition Honesdale (TH) that has constructed a fenced-in garden of approximately 110’ x 50’ with 25 raised beds at the Ellen Memorial Health Care Center on Golf Hill Road in Honesdale.

The other motto of the group is “building community.”
The garden is the result of TH partnering with Bob Zabady, owner of Ellen Memorial Health Care Center. The plan calls for 25 beds in total, as well as a small shed, concrete patio with an overhead trellis/arbor, a perennial garden, benches and raised planter boxes.

“The garden will be used by a number of local groups and individuals,” said Katie Baxter, a TH member. “Major users will be residents of Ellen Memorial and their families, as well as low-income families of Wayne County and nearby residents who do not have garden space of their own.”

The garden will be wheel-chair accessible to accommodate the Ellen Memorial members.

Transition Honesdale has other projects in the works such as a comprehensive recycling program to reduce waste and convert it into usable materials, and a skill-sharing program that will bring people together to learn from each other in a spirit of cooperation. There will be workshops that will include old skills and new skills for everyone to learn and share. “You’ll be hearing a lot more about this very soon,” Baxter said.

Transition Honesdale ( is part of a planet-wide movement called Transition Towns that started in Great Britain in 2006 and has spread to countries all around the world in just five years. People in Transition Towns seek to create, promote, and enhance community projects—to grow their own food, to learn to use less energy while generating more of their own power, to develop strong local economies that value the skills and abilities everyone has to contribute to a more self-reliant community and to regain many of the timeless skills that were so much more common just a couple generations ago.

“With our local communities so dependent on globalization to provide our most basic needs, things can become unstable very quickly when there is even the slightest breakdown in the system, whether it’s from higher fuel prices, or from a natural calamity that threatens our food supply, or from unhealthy economic practices,” Baxter said. “We’re already witnessing unprecedented changes worldwide, and the next 20 years will probably be unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.