I am getting ridiculously excited about the Garden this year.
Columbia Falls Community Garden is entering its third year of existence. Ours is a plot holder garden–we have thirty 12′ x 12′ beds that can be split into half plots, if desired.
We are operating a bit differently this season. First, plots are free, with a minimal security deposit. We don’t need to pay a garden manager anymore, as that job will now be done on a volunteer basis. Also, because we aren’t full yet, we are encouraging those who garden with us to make improvements to their plots that will make them more likely to return next year. The land the city gave us used was a hay field, but it is now overgrown with reed canarygrass, quack grass and other assorted weeds (toad flax!). It is a battle to keep all that stuff from retaking our plots.
We decided to become a no-till garden. Tilling destroys the soil building process. (See this awesome blog post about it from our friends at Old World Gardens) If gardeners want to build raised beds, or incorporate support structures, they can do so. They can invest in mulch or hoop houses or drip hoses and know that their sweat equity will see a return in future growing seasons.
In addition, we are adding perennial beds that will be divvied up among plot holders. The garlic bed was built and planted last fall. This spring we will build an onion bed and a shallot bed, as well as an herb garden. We plan to plant raspberry canes, a strawberry bed, and blueberry bushes.
There will be a dedicated Columbia Falls Food Bank plot as well as one for the Boys & Girls Club.
We will have a small greenhouse available for plot holders who wish to start seeds. It isn’t fancy, but it will do the job.
The Desert Mountain Brewing and Draughthaus will be using the north fence to grow hops. Thanks Desert Mountain!
I am working with the junior high art teacher to have students design and paint one end of the garden shed. I want to build (or find someone to build) this awesome bug hotel!
We have a lot to do–but it is all going to be awesome. Join us! Grow delicious organic food for your family and friends. Finally understand the difference between a grocery store tomato, and one plucked right off the vine. Grow an enormous cabbage (this one made a lot of slaw!!!)
If you have any questions, contact me (Jenny) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do any of the community garden pros out there have any advice for the newbies?