Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Gardening on the Green

The sky is grey today and I awoke to the sound of rain.  Don't you just love December in Cincinnati?  I just finished reading Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit by Barry Estabrook and I'm now consumed with the thought of selecting which tomato varieties to plant this year. It has been at least five years since I've struggled against the wilds of Amberley Village to grow my own vegetables in my beautiful, sunny backyard.  Since I gave up the fight, my tomatoes have been languishing in the shade of my backyard deck, relegated to my largest pots.  I'm lucky if I get a handful of tomatoes each August because my dogs refuse to let them ripen on the vine without succumbing to the temptation to take a bite of each nearly-red orb.

Luckily, things may be different this summer.  With a We Thrive! grant behind us, Amberley is on the verge of becoming one of a handful of communities in the nation to pave the way to committing to providing the means for a healthier lifestyle for its residents. Just last week, council member Tom Muething met with Public Works Supervisor, Steve Rasfeld, to determine what, if any, water sources were still available at Amberley Green. Some of the options presented were truly unique and don't even require turning on a water source! Can you imagine watering your garden with the rainwater that accumulates in one of the existing lakes or even in the old swimming pool? Bill and Mary Lennard later met Tom Muething and myself to walk the Green and see for ourselves what the possibilities were for planting gardens. To learn more about this exciting initiative, please join our planning meeting on Thursday, December 29th at 4:00 in the lower level Community Room.

Another thing we will be discussing, as part of the grant requirement, are "Shared Use Agreements." The purpose of the shared use agreement is to examine our existing amenities and see how we can share them with other communities to encourage more physical activity.  We can either share what we have, or develop agreements with neighboring communities to share what they have and we lack. Resident Jim Rulli is chairing this committee and the possibilities that have been suggested so far are unique and may even provide a little income to Amberley, as well as developing goodwill across communities.

Finally, please forward this post to your Amberley neighbors.  Also, encourage everyone you know to sign up for the Village e-news and meeting announcements.  The fastest, and most economical way, to communicate with our residents is by email and the Village has access to only 400 emails out of 3500 residents.

I hope to see you at Thursday's meeting, and if not, have a happy and healthy New Year!

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