Tonawanda News


September 19, 2013

KEPPELER: How did the garden grow?


Tonawanda News — Rolano is full of stories about the garden’s effect on others: A stranger who dropped off rhubarb when he heard she wanted some for the garden, the woman who donated the sunflower seedlings, bags of garden produce she was able to donate to someone having difficulty with her grocery budget, countless helpers and donors and people who have simply stopped to say, “Good job.”

Multiple local churches took part in the garden, including Immanuel Lutheran, First Presbyterian, St. Francis, Salem United Church of Christ, Bethesda and United Methodist. Next year’s garden will feature two more plots, and Rolando has further plans for the space —more things to plant, more ideas to try, more people to help.

Those interested should contact her at 578-0039 or by email at Even more, she hopes that other people see the Tonawanda garden and realize that maybe, just maybe, they can do it, too.

“People can look at this garden and think, ‘I could have a garden like this,’ “ she said.

I left the garden plot earlier this week with a bag full of tomatoes, basil, oregano and one fat, deep-purple eggplant — and, just maybe, a lesson in avoiding the cynicism to which we can all be prone.

Not Nancy Rolando.

“It’s to be continued,” she said of the garden. “It’s been a good experience. I’m glad Tonawanda had enough faith in us to let us try it. 

“And it’ll look even more beautiful next year.”

Jill Keppeler is a writer for the Tonawanda News. She can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @JillKeppeler.

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