Community garden opens in Montgomery Co.

As portions of Montgomery County transform into a more urban environment, green space is harder to come by. Community gardens can offer an opportunity for urban dwellers to put their green thumb to good use. County officials broke ground on the tenth community garden Wednesday.

Retiree Leonard Draughn is part of an expanding network of residents in Montgomery County who are looking for extra space, in their urban neighborhoods, to let their gardens grow. Despite the hot weather, he was hard at work Wednesday planting plots.

With support from community leaders, sought-after land became available for public use in downtown Silver Spring after securing a three-way lease including the Department of Parks, 7-11, and a local developer. The site will be 27,200 square feet plots.

“Just to give you an idea of how popular these community gardens have become, this site is completely full, with gardeners eager to start digging,” said Kathy Park of Silver Spring.

Gardeners were chosen through a lottery. Some of those who were interested had to be turned away.

A $30 fee per plot reserves your spot from February 1 to January 31. A small price to pay for fresh fruits and vegetables, say gardeners.

While six out of the 10 gardens are filled to capacity, county officials say it's still not too late to apply for a permit at another location.