Stacy Holbrook
Contributing Writer

(Photo provided)

Lee Ann Maul personally knew the struggles of life, as many of us have, and recalls how the community and family helped her and her family through hard times. Now, her children are grown, thoughts of how to give back to her beloved community, in a different way utilizing services and bring people together. Lee Ann felt a calling and had a vision which included community involvement, non-profit, and food supplies. The Earth to Table Urban Garden came to life. Now in the fourth season, Lee Ann (Founder) started solo, with ten raised beds. Mary Brewer (Treasurer), Wayne Ash and community people joined her team; forming a committee of five to visualize, plan and implement action. This year, Earth to Table grows 100 hot and sweet peppers, 80 tomato plants, multiple types of squash, cucumbers, a verity of greens, potatoes, strawberries, sunflowers, green beans, herbs and melons. A pollinator garden and food forest, including apple trees has been added. They post on their Facebook Page, Earth to Table Urban Garden, a Community Volunteer Day twice a month, inviting people join in and help, young and old, families. No one is turned away.

The “Earth to Table” puts up a booth at the Community Farmers Market handing out free produce, donations are accepted and appreciated. This year, part of the garden was started from seeds, and some came from local people donating plants. Some of the seedlings were sold for donation as a fundraising effort, at the farmers market. Everything in this project is 100% donated. They offer monthly presentations for free with the assistance of Liam Britton to learn and grow together.

Lee Ann would like to see this be a destination location in this area; a cottage/urban atmosphere with fencing and gates, beautiful flower areas. A temporary Eden on Earth. She has seen this garden has connected people, built friendships and bonds, building life skills, pride and value in accomplishments and community. Additional plans include adding mulberry trees and cherry trees, a library for people to learn and share different ways of gardening, and other life lessons, the pollinating garden with patio viewing, a pantry built by the Teen Space in the downtown area, with approval from the city, a children’s garden, additional work with students in horticulture, the FFA club, and the Lions club, showcasing a greenhouse and other types of gardening.

A special recognition and thank you to: Steve and Sue Nobach (landowners) for the use of this land; Caleb (The Flower Garden) for donations; Lions Club for volunteering and assisting with the non-profit side; Marilyn (Pettit Hardware) for equipment and support; Laura (DeLong Real Estate) and Korey (City Consignment) for pantry and support; Wayne Ash (Teen Space, Park and Planning) for our garden needs and extensive time; City of Eaton Rapids for water hydrant; Eaton Community Bank and the Community for volunteering and support; Liam Britton (MSUE Master Gardener) for guidance. Brooke Aclala (EtT VP), and Taylor Vanderpool (Secretary).