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The Lowdown on Hopatcong's GardenFest

The Hopatcong Community Garden's big event is coming up. Here's what organizers told Patch participants should expect.

Months of hard work and planning will come to a head Sunday when the Hopatcong Community Garden hosts GardenFest at .

From noon to 4 p.m., organizers and participants will celebrate the Hopatcong Community Garden, an idea friends wouldn't let fade away even after its founder, , died in a motorcycle accident in late 2011.

Here are some things to expect:

  • Facepainting and tattoos for children
  • A photo booth, courtesy of Hopatcong's .
  • Paint custom paver stones to decorate the community garden for $6—a Boy Scouts Pack 88-run activity
  • For sale: herbs, garden starter kids and organic seeds. Also: square foot gardening frames made by Hopatcong residents Marc Frato and Robert Bond
  • Tour the garden
  • A book signing for Hopatcong children's author James Gentile
  • Family games
  • Receive "Ask the Expert" advice from master gardeners. The cost? A donation to the garden.
  • Learn about healthy eating from nutritionist Yvonne Syto, of Hopatcong
  • Plenty of food from , , Quick Chek, and . Juice Bowl will donate juice while the will donate ice.
  • Live music from the Joe Tree Group from noon to 2 p.m.
  • Two Karma Yoga 45-minute classes, taught by Kula Yoga & Wellness in Stanhope. Donations will be accepted.
  • Other vendors: Kim O'Hara Clay Designs; Lola's Natural Alternatives - Personal Care Products; Naturally Sussex; knitted goods from XxVioletRosexX of Etsy.com; Princess & the Peony handcrafted wind chimes, garden items and more; FWBluxuries Jewelry Design; Hickory Ridge Alpaca Farm; Sparta Mountain Farm; Advapoint -Solar Energy & Solar Evaluations; Pampered Chef; Tupperware; Avon; Scentsy; and Thirty One Totes.
JenniferB April 19, 2012 at 11:37 AM
As of right now there is a 70% chance of rain. There is a rain date set for next Sunday the 29th should we need to reschedule.
Seth Weintraub April 19, 2012 at 01:07 PM
The kids are looking forward to the face painting. Brendan, any low down on the Relay for Life event that's just around the corner; vendors, music, activities, food, things to do for the little ones, etc........
k April 19, 2012 at 01:14 PM
sunday looks to be a little rainy...is there a rain date or is this a rain or shine event.?
christy doleshal April 19, 2012 at 04:25 PM
Sorry I don't see a date, what is the date?
JenniferB April 19, 2012 at 06:13 PM
The rain date is the 29th. We're making a decision regarding the rain date tomorrow and will let all the vendors, volunteers and attendees know.
Michele Guttenberger April 19, 2012 at 11:16 PM
"For sale: ... garden starter kids" Are these the same as the Cabbage Patch Kids? :-)
Terry Bond April 19, 2012 at 11:52 PM
This Sunday, April 22nd
This guy April 20, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Sorry but the community garden is just a waste of time.Community gardens are ment for places like Brooklyn where the home owner had no land to build or harvest a garden. Not in Hopatcong where everyone has a decent size of property. Is this for the people that don't want to ruin their own piece of property so they pick a part of town and trash that because we all know its a matter of time till this idea just get runned into the ground and just looks like a total mess example (Civic Center hill, skate park)
Terry Bond April 20, 2012 at 06:10 PM
The community garden members have been working very hard fixing up the land the garden is on. I doubt it will become run down. If you had been at the meeting last week, when everyone introduced themselves, you would know that the majority of people have had issues with the deer and can't grow on their own property. I used to have a very nice veggie garden at my house, but I can't grow anything there anymore due to the deer. It's also a nice way to get to meet some very nice people in town that otherwise wouldn't have known each other.
brian hickey April 20, 2012 at 06:16 PM
holy cow, I thought I was cynical. I like the idea of this project, but just hope they can keep it together and in good shape. It is certainly going to take a lot of work. I can't figure out the park? the newer lower section seems to be nice and well taken care of, but the playground area is just littered with broken glass and cigarrette butts. I only take my kids there if it's unavoidable.
JenniferB April 20, 2012 at 06:30 PM
I'm still chuckling over everyone having a decent sized property. We refer to our yard as a postage stamp. I've learned to garden with the deer but the shade from the trees is against me so I immediately got excited when I found out I could grow vegetables in sun. The garden does have rules such as you must maintain your plot, dedicate time to cleaning pathways, take out whatever trash you bring in. If you don't, you lose your plot and it goes to the next person waiting for one. As of tonight I expect that we will be down to 5 open plots available and then the waiting list will take effect. There are many benefits to being part of a community garden other than just simply gardening. As Terry mentioned, we've been meeting people from all over town. Actually, from out of town too when you think of the outside help we've gotten. :-)
Betty Reid April 20, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Brian, I don't know what you mean by "I can't figure out the park?" The garden is next to the skate park and behind Hopatcong Hardware. It is not in Modick Park. I agree that lower Modick Park is nice and well taken care of. But I disagree about the playground area, at least the fenced in one for younger kids. My 17 year old granddaughter was just there with her 4 year old cousin and the area was fine. I have no idea about the other playground area. If only parents would teach their kids about respecting their town maybe there wouldn't be a problem.
brian hickey April 20, 2012 at 08:06 PM
Betty, I was referring to Modick Park when I said "the park". I know where the garden is. I must be a victim of bad timing. Because any time I ever went to the playground it was disgusting. I have to drive if I want to go to the park anyway, so I usually just keep driving and go to one of the other towns parks.
Rich Smith April 20, 2012 at 09:21 PM
Any effort to organize citizens of a community in a positive way is good. Sure, these kind of things are needed much more in cities, but it doesn’t hurt to have one here either. People working on this project set examples for their children and that is always a good thing. And, the event in the park is just another Hopatcong thing that makes our town great. Sorry to those who disagree but we do have a nice little town here. Oh yes, the playground area of Modick Park does need some care. Not fixing up as much as better treatment by the users of the area. Last time I went through there was lots trash on the ground that never should have been dropped and some un-solicited art work. But, again, setting examples for our kids with the garden could help in this area too.
JenniferB April 20, 2012 at 10:58 PM
Hi folks! Due to the 80% chance of rain, GardenFest has been moved to next Sunday. The good news is that some vendors who couldn't come due to an event in NYC will now be able to join us. :-) Also, we are down to 5 plots available. If anyone wants one, please let us know. Rich, contact I think DPW about the artwork. There was some at a bus stop and at the skatepark that they were not aware of and took care of. I was reading that statistically speaking, if graffiti is removed within 48 hours the person who did gets discouraged or something like that.
Michele Guttenberger April 21, 2012 at 12:23 AM
Rich - I could not agree with you more. What is lacking in society today is community unity, involvement and teaching our young about being a good neighbor and citizen. During WWII our neighborhoods had victory gardens. Beatification of your Town and have community gardens is so American and a great example setting for younger generations.
Rob Bond April 21, 2012 at 11:50 AM
Rich - I agree completely. The "community" in the Hopatcong Community Garden is more than just a shared piece of land used for growing vegetables. The "community" is a shared goal, a shared sense of accomplishment, a shared sense of pride, it's a place to get to know your neighbor and for residents to share ideas and knowledge (gardening related or otherwise). The HCG also replaces a community eye sore; a piece of land that appears to have be used for teenage drinking for decades (judging from all the broken glass removed from the site.)
Rohan H. Shetty April 21, 2012 at 01:28 PM
Sabretti's has agreed to be involved with our onsite staff at Hopatcong's GardenFest now set for Sunday, April the 29th at Modick Park. Furthermore and more importantly, we are pleased to announce and present the ALL NEW Turkey Dog specifically, but not limited to at this event. This is step 3 of our 5 stage menu enhancement program. As you may know the Hand Rolled Bagels & Java Chief was step 2. It's highly anticipated and likely that step 4 will be introduced and disclosed prior to the start of the Farmer's Market. We appreciate and thank you all for your continued support. For further information, please contact us at 973.810.2557. We will be more than happy to assist you. Rohan H. Shetty Owner of Sabretti's
Susan Boleen April 23, 2012 at 11:57 PM
Does anyone know who I can contact to see if they have room for another vendor and the cost if they do. I sell tie dyes
Terry Bond April 24, 2012 at 01:15 AM
Try hopatcongcommunitygarden@gmail.com
JenniferB April 24, 2012 at 02:36 AM
Yes! We love vendors. Send an email and i'll send you the forms.
Terry Bond April 29, 2012 at 11:39 AM
REMINDER - GardenFest is TODAY @ noon! Please pay us a visit in Modick Park. I believe there will be guided tours of the Community Garden as well as a bunch of other great stuff
Heidi May 03, 2012 at 06:46 PM
Come to my house I have a cliff for property and maybe a 2' by 3' space to garden. So no not everyone in this town has a decent size property to garden. This garden was thought up by a fellow resident who wanted to bring the community together and I'm sure the rest of the members of the garden would agree it was successful in doing just that! You should stop by the site of the garden and take a look at what has been done. We took a trashed kids party site and did an excellent job of cleaning it up. Now all we need is the weather to warm up so we can plant more crops.
JenniferB May 03, 2012 at 07:22 PM
Nope, can't grow anything illegal. It's stated in the by laws. Also, can't grow anything higher than 4' so definitely a no on the marijuana.

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