Chance to plant veggies
This summer, Detroit Lakes community members who don't have space for a garden will now have the opportunity to grow their own veggies and flowers. The Becker County Master Gardeners group (University of Minnesota Extension) has been approved to ...
This summer, Detroit Lakes community members who don't have space for a garden will now have the opportunity to grow their own veggies and flowers.
The Becker County Master Gardeners group (University of Minnesota Extension) has been approved to start a community garden in the Industrial Park, located across from Snappy's in the park area along the Pelican River.
The garden will serve people with a little to a lot of experience, as long as they are willing to tend to their own plots and donate a couple volunteer hours to run the garden as a whole.
"Being a dietitian and trying to promote vegetables and eating healthier and eating more local, it was something that I think was just needed in our area," said Master Gardner Marsha Parker.
This will be the only community garden in Detroit Lakes. Parker said one was tried several years ago but no longer exists.
The plots will be 10-by-10 foot in size and will cost $20 for 2011.
"Our first year, since this is all kind of new, we want a minimum of five plots and the most we'll have the first year is 10," she said.
If the garden is a success, there is room for expansion in the future.
A question and answer sheet from the Master Gardeners encourages all people to participate.
"One of the greatest benefits of community gardening is learning from other gardeners," it says. "Experienced gardeners are usually quite glad to share their knowledge and skills with gardening novices."
Each gardener will be responsible for weeding, harvesting and maintaining his or her own plots. If it's too much, plots can always be shared as well.
"The goal behind a community garden, like this first year, is the Master Gardeners is going to be the oversight committee," Parker said. "Then next year there would be a couple Master Gardeners on (the oversight committee) and the rest would be the gardeners that are actually growing things in that area."
Volunteerism throughout the garden would also include weeding, picking up trash in the area, and "making sure it continues to look good."
There is a contract that gardeners will have to sign that includes reprimand for those who don't keep up their plots, information on mulch that should be used (and what's not allowed), where to place taller plants to keep them from shadowing neighbor's plots, and when gardens must be started and finished.
Compost and organic fertilizers are encouraged, and no herbicides will be allowed in the garden. There are things that are and aren't allowed to be planted as well.
"Like mint you can't plant because it will take over the area," Parker said.
But before the garden can even start, there needs to be volunteers to rototill the land, and other preparations for the gardens, so the Master Gardeners are looking for donations of labor, materials, plants, seeds and tools.
Anyone willing to donate or to find out more about the community garden can contact Marsha Parker at 844-8368.
"Fargo has a couple, I understand, and Minneapolis has a whole lot of them," she said. "I bet we have a need here, too, so I'm real excited."