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By Miriam Raftery

February 23, 2013 (El Cajon)—Shamoon Jeejo, an immigrant from war-torn Iraq,  is pleased to be among the local residents who now have a raised garden plot at Circle Community Garden.  The new garden had its grand opening ceremony today, serving up cake as local residents staked out spaces--and more are available.

“In Iraq, I had a garden, it was like ten of this space,” Jeejo (photo, left) told East County Magazine.  “I live near here, by the library.  If there is work, I want to volunteer. “  For Jeejo, who came here two and a half years ago to escape the oppressive government in Iraq, there is another benefit of working with others.  “I want to speak English; if I am with community, I can learn to speak English very well,” he says.

By noon today, five spaces had been sold – but plenty more are still available, said Rebecca O’Connor, deacon at the First Presbyterian Church, which rungs the garden along with Saint Albans church.

Plots  range in price from $32.50 to $47.50 for six months.  There is after a $25 deposit, which is refundable if the plot is left in good condition.  After six month, once a drip irrigation system is added, the pricing may change.

Garden plots range in size from four-by-eight feet to large 20-by-20 foot spaces. 

Todays’s event was one of several celebrating Community Gardens Day in El Cajon.  A half dozen gardens held events, which will continue this afternoon at other locations.  For a full schedule, see