Winner of GKH sponsorship: Weirton Christian Heart Neighborhood Backyard

Ever heard of Weirton? In days gone by, thousands of immigrants flocked to the small town of Weirton, West Virginia, to occupy steel mills. The mills are gone, but the population remains a nice mix of nationalities, religions and cultures. One of its long-term residents is the master gardener Bob Marino.

Bob grew up in Weirton. When he saw an article about a childhood old house that was donated to the Weirton Christian Center, he hit upon the idea of ​​building a community garden. He and some friends, including master gardeners, developed a community garden where they could encourage adults and children to grow organic vegetables in a community setting.

Bob is a passionate gardener. He and his cohort Becky Walter helped make a difference in a city that is truly grateful for their energy, knowledge and willingness to carry out this project. He didn't just do it because he enjoys gardening. He wanted to teach people, and especially children, how fun and satisfying it is to grow healthy organic food. Here, children learn how to best prepare a garden bed, how to plant, mulch, compost, fertilize, cut and harvest. Bob, Becky, and friends provide relentless supervision, instruction, and motivation for students and community groups who are encouraged to claim one of the garden beds for a season. All trainers and lawyers give their time on a voluntary basis, including classes in canning and canning.

A raised bed at Weirton Community Garden can be rented for a small fee per season. During this time, the materials, seeds, soil and equipment, much of which is obtained through local donations, will be made available to gardeners. All they have to do is show themselves, learn, and create their own special garden bed. Bob and his colleagues inspire and motivate gardeners of all ages, many of whom have never planted a seed. Bob is happy to tell of a group of girl scouts who, after one season, prepared their garden bed for the second time without any help.

Weirton Community Garden

Weirton Community Garden received a sponsorship for gardening know-how in 2019. The money was well spent, as photos show. Bob recognizes that all of the health aspects of the community garden – physical exertion, fresh air, lifelong knowledge, harvesting and consuming organic produce, and a real sense of community – are priceless for both underserved and wealthy people. In fact, Weirton Christian Community Garden has donated nearly 1,000 pounds of fresh organic produce to local food banks in the past 3 years. Gardening Know How is happy and proud to support the Bob Marino and Weirton community garden.

At Gardening Know How, we like to give something back through our sponsorship program. If you or your organization would like to apply for our annual sponsorship program, please visit our website to submit your application for review.

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