Ephrata Community Garden; just in time to garden

Sometimes you have to share a dream to see it become a reality.  Our local Health District began talking about a community garden where people could rent a raised bed to plant vegetables or flowers for themselves and on April 28th that vision became reality as willing hands and donated supplies came together to prepare the ‘Ephrata Community Gardens’.

Bright and early we began taking stock of the recently installed irrigation lines, the piles of soil, compost and chipped wood and determining how best to begin building the 4′ x 12′ raised beds to accommodate the different groups of people working and the tractors carrying soil.

With chalk and flags reflecting the bed placement and the hydrants positioned for ease of each gardener, it didn’t take long for the boards to be built into boxes.

Because we used treated lumber, we had to line the beds with rubber belting to protect the potential food crops from the chemicals in the wood.

An hour after beginning, we were putting a mixture of soil and compost into the first beds!  Many hands = fast work…

Between the growing beds, cardboard was cut to fit tightly to reduce weed growth.

Wood chips were then spread on top of the cardboard for a more finished look.  Just don’t drop your seeds on the wrong side of the wood because you will never find them in that path.

After a few hours, lots of good humor and cooperated efforts we were able to step back and see the results.

With the left over pieces of wood, smaller boxes were placed beside the ‘Food Bank Garden’ beyond the raised beds for community members to use.  We brought several herb starts and have been watering them by hand as the water isn’t actually connected yet.  Planning for the vegetables that will go to the food bank, how to ensure they are well cared for through the growing season and harvested in time to be delivered to the local food bank took place a few days ago.

The first Friday of each month of the growing season Grant Adams County Master Gardeners plan to host a gardening workshop covering a variety of topics between 3:00 and 4:00 PM; bring your questions and curiosity.

If you are interested in renting a raised bed for $10 you should contact the City of Ephrata, applications are available at City Hall.  What a great way to connect with the soil if you don’t have space of your own to use.  Have little kids? Bring them down to help garden and let them experience the amazement of watching plants grow from seeds or small plants into beautiful and possibly tasty flowers and vegetables.

Happy Gardening!


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