Marion Mavericks taking root

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By The Staff

All are welcome: Democrats, Republicans, all church denominations and garden variety citizens to get involved in the recently-formed Marion Mavericks Community Victory Garden to feed the unfortunate in Marion County. Support us anyway you can. We are all non-paid volunteers to help feed the unfortunate for a better America.

The Marion Mavericks and a 4-H group in Ocala announced their Community Victory Garden project to feed the homeless and unemployed in Marion County. The produce will be given without involvement of paperwork through Interfaith Services and our local Salvation Army to those in need who have lost their homes or jobs and are struggling to put food on the table.

We are moving along at a fast pace. In just a few weeks we have arranged for the 4-H farm agent, Nola Wilson, to set aside an acre of land off Baseline Road for growing vegetables that will be planted starting at the end of February.

Since our two initial meetings, we now have a diversified dedicated group. We have elected a president, secretary, treasurer, public relations, a volunteer coordinator and assistant. Xiomara Diaz, a leading 4-H extension agent, will assist us in setting up our youth leaders.

We have decided to dedicate this garden to the youths of Marion County, with our motto “Planting Seeds of Hope for a Better Tomorrow.”

The third meeting was also attended by Carol Cunningham and Linda Spring of the Oak Run Garden Club, who generously gave their time and arranged, in conjunction with the Department of Horticulture at CFCC, to donate 100 tomato plants. We have been offered help and donations from the Master Gardeners, Seminole Feed Stores Inc., and Boy Scouts.

We are very fortunate to have the expertise of Bruce Perry, manager of the Sheriff’s Inmate Farm, to help us plan our gardens. Bruce has been farming all his life and for the last eight years built the inmate farm. In 2008 alone, the inmate farm accounted for $850,000 worth of produce being grown on the site.

We need used or new tool shed, tools, wheelbarrows, and a large sign for the front on Baseline. We need additional volunteer group leaders willing to work in our Adopt-a-Row program, to supervise our youths who will do the planting.

This important project will be a first large-scale attempt in Marion County to help feed those unfortunate by growing food. To get involved in this project to feed the needy, call Anita or Tom at 854-2869 or e-mail frauenshuh@embarqmail.com; Bill at 237-9650 or e-mail