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July 21, 2010 - Susan Wentworth-Hoben loves to watch things grow.

Especially when it comes to the Ortonville Community Emergency Fund donations.

Wentworth-Hoben has been cultivating OCEF's food bank by maintaining a garden behind Dr.David W. Regiani's dental practice, located at 101 South St. in Ortonville.

"That land belongs to Dr. Regiani and it was donated for us to use," said Wentworth-Hoben, project coordinator through Christ the Shepherd Church. "They were thrilled to help us." She, along with members of the church, started growing produce on the donated land beginning in May. The volunteers grow green beans, peppers and zucchini, among other vegetables, in order to donate to OCEF.

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"About four of us maintain the garden," the coordinator said. "We figured, we're gardening at home anyway. Why not help the community?"

Wentworth-Hoben said she gardens whenever she can, whether it be in her own backyard or on Regiani's donated property.

"My dad was a farmer and my mom always had a garden," she said. "There's something calming about being out in a garden just putzing around."

Wentworth-Hoben said the project has produced about four gallon-sized bags of green beans, 15 zucchini, six cucumbers and an assortment of peppers. Along with the garden behind Dr. Regiani's practice, Wentworth-Hoben said she and the other church volunteers donate produce from their own backyards.

"Sometimes I bring stuff from my own garden to OCEF," she said. "I like picking and growing and eating what I grow. I'm usually gardening every morning. I love it."

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