By Kristina Powers Aubry
It’s finally spring. Time to stop dreaming over the seed catalogs and get out to dig in the dirt. That means the Community Garden Network is about to start another season of making garden plots available to local residents to grow their own flowers and vegetables.
The two sites are the Pantry Garden at the Henry Leja farm across from Summit Polymers on West Prairie Street and the Heritage Garden at the north end of the Vicksburg Historic Village on N. Richardson Street near the Community Pavilion. They are waiting to be turned, weeded, fertilized, mulched and fixed up to be ready for planting this spring. Traditionally, potatoes and peas go in the ground on Easter weekend for good luck, so the time is growing close. There are several plots available in either garden.
There is no fee to plant in the gardens. Both gardens are divided into small plots within the larger garden. Individuals may plant flowers, vegetables, and plants of their choice and are responsible for maintaining their plot and helping to keep the public areas of the gardens tidy for the season. The gardens are maintained with natural pesticides and weed control measures when possible. Free manure, wood chips and basic tools in the garden sheds are available for all gardeners to use. Straw, secured by the garden managers, is available for mulching plots at a low cost for each bale.
During the season, the gardeners come together for social events and schedule a “work night” each week for those who are available to work on the common areas, such as the paths and walkways, giving planters a chance to compare notes. They have a good time learning from one another and sharing planting tips and recipes.
Not a gardener but like to be outside in the fresh air? Volunteers for mowing, special projects and weeding are always welcomed by the group. They never turn away volunteers or anyone needing service hours or community service. Often the payoff is fresh produce. If you have manure or straw to donate or sell and can deliver, the gardeners would like to talk to you.
For information on a garden plot in either garden, offers for manure or straw, or any general information, please call Kristina Powers Aubry at 269-649-1445; firstname.lastname@example.org; or Wendy French at email@example.com. There will be a general meeting of the Garden Network on April 19 at the Brady Township Hall at 7 p.m. Everyone is welcome.