Monongahela Cemetery To Be Transformed By Community Vegetable Garden

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MONONGAHELA, Pa. (KDKA) – When you think of a cemetery, row after row of solemn grave markers come to mind.
But what about row after row of corn and other vegetables?
The Monongahela Cemetery board approved the creation of a community vegetable garden on a plot of land set away from the tombstones.
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The garden is being spearheaded by local resident Michelle Parnell, who recommended it during a recent meeting with two members of the Monongahela Council as they looked for creative ideas to improve the community.
“It’s a little quirky,” Parnell said.
The board loved the idea and decided the location on the 160-acre cemetery where the original caretaker’s house was is the perfect place. And fittingly, he was an avid gardener. The new garden will be situated in an area called “the park,” according to Mark Affinito, the cemetery’s superintendent.
Affinito said it is a secluded area where visitors once held picnics beside the superintendent’s house, which likely had a garden before it was demolished.
“The location we chose has never had any grave sites on it nor ever will,” Parnell said.
Parnell said two local master gardeners expressed interest in working with the cemetery on the project.
“I’ve been getting a lot of good responses from the community,” she said.
Gardeners who take part in the project will likely pay a $20 plot fee per growing season, according to Parnell. The fee will cover the cemetery’s commitment to using employees and equipment to turn the soil before planting.
For additional information about the garden, visit the Monongahela Cemetery website or email Parnell at moncitygarden@gmail.com.

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