Community Garden ready for new seeds
After a successful first year, the Summit County Community Garden Committee is ready to start planning for its second season and are now accepting applications from residents who are ready to test their green thumb.
The Summit County Community Garden consists of 38 plots on 10-acres of open space east of State Road 224, the former location of Miss Billie’s Preschool. All 38 plots were rented last year but many have become available for this spring.
According to Board Member Alison Godlewski, the application deadline for residents to apply for a garden plot is March 1 and is based on a first-come, first-serve basis.
"We wanted the application deadline to be early this year so those who are selected to have a garden plot can start attending our workshops and thinking about what they want to grow before the garden opens on May 1," Godlewski said. "People can start their seeds inside and watch them grow."
Once the number of available plots is decided and they are assigned, residents can visit their plots to see where they are, a popular pre-growing season activity, according to Godlewski. The plots have drip irrigation, are partially covered by a wire cage and already contain fertile soil.
"We want to provide as many resources as we can for everyone, including tarps, soil, cloth and education, so that people are set up for success with their gardens," she said. "Last year, the gardens were amazing and in October people were still pulling up potatoes and carrots and picking peas."
Godlewski said they will hold basic gardening classes and workshops throughout the year to enable gardeners to grow a community as well as plants.
"People need to know what they can grow successfully and it is a great chance for them to get to know their fellow gardeners. We have great volunteers who know about permaculture and building a whole eco-system," she said, adding that there will be a beehive near the garden again this summer to help pollinate the plants.
Community Garden Executive Director Anne Dorsey said they have new programs planned for the spring that will include the younger gardeners as well.
"We are creating an afterschool program with Parley’s Park Elementary School that will teach the kids about bees, growing things in the garden, building birdhouses and letting them work with their hands," Dorsey said. "We think it is really important for kids to know where food comes from and the difference between real food and packaged food."
Despite increasing interest, the Community Garden Committee will not be expanding the current community garden due to plans to build an additional one in another location.
"We are thinking of one in Old Town and possibly other communities as well," Godlewski said. "We have been approached by multiple communities that are interested in putting in a community garden."
Summit County residents who are interested in applying for a community garden plot should visit http://www.summitcountygardens.org and fill out the application form or contact Alison Godlewski at (435) 655-5055. The Community Garden Board is also looking for residents who want to volunteer or become board members and be more involved in the garden. Volunteers can help with programming, workshops, festivals and garden maintenance.
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The planning committee and the newly formed task forces will continue to work on the master planning priorities and will present to the Board of Education at its meeting Dec. 17.