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Holt resident uses leftover seedlings to help locals create sustainable at home gardens

Tomato Plants at Delhi Charter Township Community Garden
Vegetable and Fruit Seedlings
Yellow Squash Erin Russells Garden
Erin Russell
Posted at 4:26 PM, Jun 05, 2023

LANSING, Mich. — Heat waves and dry days have hit mid-Michigan, and it has some farmers worried about their crops. But there's another way to get your fresh produce that requires a little less help from nature.

Erin Russell created her own at home garden and is using her knowledge to help others start their own.

Russell began growing seedlings for her at home garden in her basement, but the grew faster than she could plant. So far she's sold over 200 seedlings.

"This year I added probably about eight lights and two more shelves, I plant about six of each type of plant. And this is what was extra so I've been selling it," said Russell.

Russell designed her own garden using an engineering software called Auto-cad. After building it she experimented with what plants went where in order to create a healthy and thriving garden.

"The other thing that I learned and has worked for me so far is put basil, marigolds, and onions around your tomatoes...and I've never has a horn worm those are like, they will take down a whole tomato plant in a night," said Russell.

For those who can't start at at home garden, Delhi Charter Township can help. Director of Public Services Sandra Diorka has helped run a community garden at the township recycling center for the last 15 years.

"Over the years we've tried to make as many changes as we can to make it especially easy for people and any person to be able to grow their food here, so we've actually installed water and provided hoses," said Diorka.

Organic produce and sustainability are the driving force people like Russel being growing their own produce at home.

"That is the most sustainable, because you're putting in the labor, you're here to water it so you're ensuring that you have a food supply," said Diorka

All of the plots at the Delhi Charter Township community garden are currently full. Next season, township residents, can get in contact with Diorka in January to pick out a plot for free.

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Larry Wallace

10:16 AM, Jan 03, 2021

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