The Community Garden is in a strong position to win a fruit orchard as the Edy’s Fruit Bars Communities Take Root contest enters the last week of the first round of voting.
The first five of 17 gardens that will win a fruit orchard from Edy’s Fruit Bars will be announced Thursday. The other 12 winners will be announced in groups of four on June 30, July 31 and August 31.
All 17 winners will receive a fruit tree orchard, irrigation system, a groundbreaking party and Edy’s Fruit Bars to celebrate their new orchard. Also, to ensure that every applicant has a starting point to grow an orchard, Edy’s will donate three fruit trees to all participating organizations that do not win an orchard.
The five leading first round gardens and their vote totals as of Sunday morning are:
- Grace Orchard in Kalispell, Montana (28,542)
- New Hartfort FEMA Lot Restoration Committee, New Hartford, Iowa (25,979)
- Alief Community Orchard, Houston (23,320)
- Denver Jewish Day School, Denver (21,743)
- Woburn Agricultural Commission, Woburn, Mass. (20,720)
None of the next four leading vote getters appears to be in a position to move into the top five. Those gardens and their vote totals as of Sunday are:
6. Todd Central High School Agricultural Dept./FFA, Elkton, Ky. (13,694)
7. Bridger Community Garden, Bridger, South Dakota (13,226)
8. Dunwoody Community Garden (11,066)
9. Fondy Food Center, Inc., Port Washington, Wisc. (10,132)
“Realistically, we look forward to being in 3rd place at the close of voting on May 31,” said Community Garden President Don Converse. “That's when the top five places will be awarded orchards, and will not be in round two. Our votes as well as everyone else's will roll over into the next round.”
The garden’s focus then will be two-fold, Converse said. On one hand, they will try to overtake Todd Central High School and the Bridger Community Garden. On the other, he wants to make sure the Community Garden is not overtaken by Fondy Food Center, Inc. in Port Washington, Wisc., which is locked in a neck-to-neck battle with St. Ambrose Parish in Brunswick, Ohio with 10,130 votes.
“We don't want to be satisfied with just maintaining 4th place if we slip,” he said. “That's a recipe for failure. We want to keep putting distance between ourselves and our nearest competitor.”
Converse said a challenge the Community Garden faces is to maintain consistent voting support with the start of summer vacations and other seasonal family distractions. However, he added, he thinks the other groups face the same challenge.
“We need to keep reminding people that every vote counts, and that a vote is needed each day,” he said. The garden has been getting good publicity from several sources that are helping their cause.
Besides consistent updates and voting reminders in Dunwoody Patch, the orchard contest has been mentioned by Aha Connection, Farmer Bob's Blog, Kerry de Vallette's blog, Rick Callahan's blog, Bob Fiscellas's blog and is a daily staple in the Dunwoody School Daze blog.
To support the garden, visit the voting website and follow the prompts to vote. A voting shortcut is to go to the Leaders tab on the main page. You can access the Dunwoody garden voting site from this tab.
Remember, you can vote once-a-day on each of your email accounts. You can even create fictitious email accounts and vote on those!