It is a community garden, but it is not a city garden.
The Community Garden, created by the Food Connection for All, is up and running in Humboldt.
The garden, although labelled a Community Garden, is not for all the people of Humboldt, stressed co-ordinator Crystal Perkins.
She explained there are 20 plots rented out to 20 people or families plus a community section for larger produce for those renting the individual plots.
“The community perception is that the community side is for the taking, but really it is for the 20 people who have rented the plots and helped with the community section,” said Perkins. “They get the produce.”
Perkins said the people involved in the community garden are paying $5 and $10 for their plots and putting all the work into them. They are responsible for planting, weeding, harvesting and everything in between.
“If you are a part of the community garden, the community section is for everyone who is part of the garden,” said Perkins.
Once the gardeners have harvested all they want, the leftovers will be donated to local organizations like the Food Bank and Soup Kitchen.
The way the Community Garden works, explained Perkins, is the participants do all the work.
“Being a community garden, people who rent the plot have to be there to help set it up, do their planting plus plant the community section,” said Perkins. “To be involved in the community garden, they not only have to maintain their plot, they also maintain the area where we are growing the community vegetables.”
This is the reason the plots at the garden are rented at such a low rate.
“Basically, for some plots in the city you will pay $75,” said Perkins. “That’s because when you get there it is all done for you. The plot is set up, all the weeding is done and everything is ready to go.
“With the Community Garden, it is those 20 people who have to maintain that whole section of land.”
All the money the organization collects in rent goes back into the project explained Perkins. This year, they spent a lot of the money on herbs and strawberries.
Things are coming together well for the Community Garden. A shed was built for the garden by the high school shop class and they hope to have quotes back for a fence around the perimeter soon.
Perkins said there was a lot of interest in the garden this year and the plots were all rented within a week of being available.
She believes there may be more interest in the garden than what they first received.
“Every time I’m out there — and other renters have said — people are constantly driving by,” said Perkins. “I think once people in Humboldt see the potential the community garden has, we will have more involvement.”
Perkins sees the potential for the garden to grow in the future.
Although there is not much space to expand in the current location, she believes they have room for a couple more plots there.
“The plots on the original drawing took up a lot more room than they actually do,” said Perkins. “We are going to reevaluate, because we have a massive community section that isn’t being used the way that it could be.”
Not only do they have potential for a couple more plots, the City has also said there is other potential land available at a different location if needed.
“Since this year is rocky, being the first year, it is really hard to see where we will go from here,” said Perkins.
Perkins thinks the garden is a great benefit for many people who would not garden otherwise. It gives people a chance to garden who may not have the space or who live in an apartment complex.
“I know some people chose to garden there because they don’t know much about gardening so there is that community effort there as well,” said Perkins.
She explained those who are inexperienced can ask either other gardeners or the board for advice on how to garden.