Fresh Produce Exchanges

Incredible Edible Merchantville expanded their efforts to ensure community food security by making fresh home-grown food accessible for pick up or drop off through a produce exchanges at Rasta Kitchen, 618 West Maple Avenue and Eclipse Brewing, 25 East Park Avenue in Merchantville. Both businesses offer easy access to free locally grown veggies and herbs - tomatoes, squash, peppers, cucumbers, rosemary, basil and oregano. Rasta Kitchen is open 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Eclipse Brewing is open weekdays 4:00-9:00 p.m. and weekends 12:00-8:00 p.m. Making fresh home-grown food accessible to address community food security is one of 15 small action projects that the IE group has initiated in town since 2018, including bi-weekly donations to the Dolores Clark Food Pantry at Grace Church. Stop by these exchanges, take what you need, and if you grew too much, feel free to bring your donations!

Greening Unused Spaces

The annual "Greening" of the gardens alongside the driveway at the Chestnut Station Senior Complex is underway and we all anxiously await their summer evolution. This hidden, sustainable gem is part of the Incredible Edible Garden registry and a perfect example of an inventive way to transform an unused hardscape into a sustainable landscape. This garden is carefully nurtured through the dedicated effort of resident volunteer, Francis Mcgarry, and produces annual seasonal vegetables that support food security and nutrition for many seniors living in the complex. Thank you for the beauty and the bounty!

Plant Swap

Garden enthusiasts love to get together to talk about the splendor of the garden. They also love to gather to share plants. Incredible Edible Merchantville and The Merchantville Garden Club will host Plant Swaps at the gazebo on the Chestnut Avenue bike path and Wellwood Park on Saturday on Saturday, May 1st, from 10 a.m - 12:00 p.m. Seed and plant exchanges allow gardeners in the community to come together and share seeds, cuttings, and transplants from their own gardens to swap with others - so clean out your garden beds by digging up and dividing some plants. Plant swap rules are easy to follow: bring a pest-free, beautiful plant, or two or three for trade; they can be potted or bare root as long as you’re prepared to part with them.

Borough Garners Eco Awards

Merchantville was among top NJ towns recognized at the Annual Sustainable Jersey Awards on Thursday, March 11th. Sustainable Jersey announced the recipients of the 2020 municipal annual awards, which celebrate sustainability excellence, innovation and leadership at a live stream the event on its Facebook page. Merchantville Borough completed required actions to earn 155 points, reaching their goal of Bronze certification and was recognized for its innovation and creativity initiative: Incredible Edible Merchantville. Motivated by climate change and a TED Talk on "How We Can Eat Our Landscapes," two residents realized that securing future sustainability in Merchantville would require inventive community efforts. In July 2018, their proposal for Incredible Edible Merchantville was approved by the Borough Council under the municipal green team with the goals of promoting sustainable living, food justice and environmental education to encourage healthy communities. Since then, participants have been working to create food forests in public and private spaces to grow local food and support the local food economy. Though their work has just begun, IE Merchantville has already developed a vibrant outreach program with more than 30 registered gardens and donating over 200 pounds of fresh produce this summer to supplement local food pantry demands brought on by the pandemic. During this pandemic, municipalities that received Sustainable Jersey’s highest recognition awards set a new bar and aspirational example for other communities to meet as they pursue sustainability goals. 

IE Chronicles Growth

In early 2018, inspired by the actions of a community in Tordmoden, UK, Joan Brennan and Betsy Langley started planting the seeds for a town-wide sustainability program called Incredible Edible (IE) Merchantville. By the fall of that year,  Merchantville’s first community projects were under way, and the ideas of community garden sharing, greening public spaces, produce donations, monarch habitats, and pollinator gardens were born. Bolstered by a group of passionate volunteers they set out to educate our small town about the value of nurturing environmental stewardship to promote a culture of healthy living, provide food security and foster a sustainable future through edible landscapes. Collaboration with the town Garden Club, The Green Team, borough officials, businesses, schools, churches and other community organizations have led to small project expansions including multiple communal garden spaces and insect habitats. In 2020 more than thirty-five residents have joined the effort as part of their This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. many dedicating a portion of their produce to food security donations at the Grace Church Food Pantry. IE was also an active partner in Merchantville's successful Sustainable Jersey Bronze certification application. For Incredible Edible Merchantville, the vision of  believing in the power of your own potential and creating a kind, confident, and connected community through the power of food is just beginning! They were able to chronicle their journey in this video with the able assistance of Ashley Brennan.

IE Registry Update

Alongside the driveway at the Chestnut Station Senior Complex is a hidden gem of an Incredible Edible Garden and the perfect example of a a creative way to transform an unused hardscape into a sustainable landscape. This garden is carefully nurtured by resident volunteer, Francis Mcgarry, and produces annual seasonal vegetables that support food security and nutrition for many seniors living in the complex. Incredible Edible Merchantville, maintains more than a dozen small action garden/pollinator projects in town and has added 17 residential and business gardens to their Sustainable Landscape Registry this year. We applaud every small action in the Borough that promotes land stewardship, food justice and sustainability. Register your garden by sending pics & info to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

IE Learning Plate

Lynn Geddes’ gorgeous garden was the site of this month’s IE meeting. It was a learning experience where members, Lynn Geddes, Kerry Mentzer and Cindy Hertneck, shared gardening know-how, food and foul stories and, discussed ways to engage our community in this sustainable living effort. We have become dependent on food that is prepared for us, quick and easy but costly to ourselves and our environment. Many of us have lost the skills we need to nurture ourselves and our families with healthy locally produced food and we want that to change – to give people the skills and information they need to take control of their lives, feed themselves well and prepare our younger generations for the future. Since June Incredible Edible Merchantville has provided more than 150 bags of community grown produce to the Grace Episcopal Church food pantry. Join this effort. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!

Partnering With Pantries

At Incredible Edible Merchantville food security is part of our mission and one of our top priorities. To that end, we are hoping to partner with local food banks to share our excess harvest during this growing season. On Monday, June 1st, the Dolores F. Clark Food Pantry at Grace Church accepted our offer of surplus produce. Their pantry takes place on Wednesdays from 12-2PM. If you have fresh greens and vegetables to donate please drop them off at the church (side door) to Peggy Stephens between 9-11AM this Wednesday, June 3rd. All harvested items should be washed and bagged before donating. IE Merchantville will be creating some packaging labels and distribute bags/labels to participating members by next week. We are very excited to have an opportunity to support food justice, nurture environmental stewardship and promote a healthy culture and sustainable future.

Seed Shopping?

Why choose Heirloom Seeds, you ask? Exceptional taste is the No. 1 reason many gardeners cite for choosing heirloom varieties. Other great reasons: they are likely to be more nutritious than newer varieties, they are open-pollinated - which means you can save your own seed to replant from year to year, they are “less uniform” than hybrids - which means they often don’t ripen all at once, they are almost always less expensive than hybrids, and finally, many heirlooms have wonderful stories of how they came to America. Seeds saved from heirloom vegetables will produce plants that are true to type, unlike hybrid seeds. Save those seeds, and you can create your own locally adapted variety.

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