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updated: 2/21/2013 8:59 AM

Illinois fairgrounds community garden returns

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Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD -- Those with green thumbs, and those who want them, are invited to participate in the Illinois State Fairground's fifth community garden this summer.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture is inviting new and returning gardeners to a planning meeting March 5 at the department's auditorium on the fairgrounds in Springfield.

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Planting begins April 1, if the weather permits.

Rupp Seeds is providing a variety of seeds for free. Gardeners will have access to water, tools and compost. Mentoring is available to those who want it.

The garden is set up on the infield of the fairgrounds' grandstand racetrack.

The program began five years ago as a way for people without garden space to have a safe and friendly place to grow fresh fruits and vegetables.

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