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Photo: Sean McKeag, License: N/A, Created: 2019:05:31 15:32:34

SEAN MCKEAG / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Shannon Brown of Clarks Summit moves some plants in the Abington Community Garden in South Abington Twp. on Friday, May 31. Brown, on the garden committee, has had damage to his own plot from the recent storms.

Photo: Sean McKeag, License: N/A, Created: 2019:05:31 15:40:58

SEAN MCKEAG / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Garlic grows in the Abington Community Garden in South Abington Twp. on Friday, May 31.

SOUTH ABINGTON TWP. — Gray clouds loomed overhead as Bob Dillon knelt at his plot at the Abington Community Garden last week and picked some leafy green spinach.

The plan was to pick the plants before any rain fell, Dillon, of Clarks Summit, said. While the especially rainy spring hadn’t caused any adverse affects for his plants — the green tops of garlic and scallions poked thickly from the ground nearby — hail that hit the area as part of the same storm that caused a tornado touchdown in neighboring Newton Twp. had shredded the spinach, he explained. Still, there was enough to make something delicious.

“There’s enough here to make a wilted bacon spinach salad,” Dillon said.

The wild weather recently has provided some issues for the garden and those who tend crops there, said Carolyn Crowley, the garden’s coordinator. Heavier rainfall has caused some soil erosion and even washed away seeds from some plots, she said. Happily, most of the gardeners there are resilient and knowledgeable enough to overcome setbacks the weather might throw at them, Crowley said.

“Every year presents a challenge,” Crowley said. “This year, the challenge is a wet spring.”

It’s not too late for anyone interested in gardening at the Abington Community Garden, located on Winola Road across from Hillside Park, to get in on some planting, Crowley said. The garden has two sizes of plots — 20 feet by 20 feet and 20 feet by 10 feet — available for interested gardeners.

The larger size is available for $68 a year and the smaller for $36 a year. Fees help cover public water costs for the garden, plus the cost of wood chips to line the paths there and composting, Crowley said.

For more information on the Abington Community Garden and how to obtain a plot, visit, the garden’s Facebook page or email

Dillon has had a plot at the garden since it opened for planting just more than a decade ago. The garden is a good way to get to know other people, he said. Sometimes gardeners have get togethers at the site, he said.

“You get to meet some of your neighbors,” Dillon said.

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