What's Growing On: Community Gardens in Belleview and Ocala

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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - If you have always wanted to start a garden but felt you didn't have the space or money to do so in your backyard, we may have the perfect solution.

Community gardens are starting to pop up around North Central Florida, particularly in Ocala and Belleview. Gardening educator Rochelle Roper says they are perfect for people with no gardening experience.

“I teach people how to grow their own food, help establish gardens, teach people what and when to plant things. Organic natural ways to grow food, organic pest management, things like that,“ says Roper.

The gardens are run by the cities of Ocala and Belleview who partner with multiple organizations. Plots cost ten dollars for the year and include all the gardening tools and seeds. Currently, the garden in Belleview has 11 plots, which are all in use, but they are planning to build more.

The community garden in Ocala has a lot more plots, 75 to be exact and some of those plots are still available for rent. Roper says she loves to see families start at the community gardens then ultimately build their own garden at home.

She says, “we’ve had families and individuals that would come, had never gardened before in their life, come and learn and because its something that can be duplicated very simply, they were able to go home and start their own gardens at home.“

If you want to purchase a plot at either of the gardens, contact the city of Ocala or Belleview.