Community garden gets growing

By Bruce Chambers/Special to the Pilot June 21, 2011 10:08 pm

 

Betsy Monfort and Roger Gilbert prepare plot for planting. Submitted by Bruce Chambers
Betsy Monfort and Roger Gilbert prepare plot for planting. Submitted by Bruce Chambers

The newly created Brookings-Harbor Community Garden is up and running as gardeners and volunteers began planting on June 12. 

Green thumbs of all ages, eager to roll up their sleeves and invest a little time and effort, can now look forward to being rewarded with fresh, delicious produce by summer’s end.

Those arriving to till the soil were provided with some basic gardening tips plus a few guidelines designed to make the project an educational and rewarding experience for all. 

A variety of summer squash, green beans, snap peas, herbs, even strawberries are taking root. According to project originator Roger Gilbert, while response from the community has been excellent, a few plots ranging in size from 50 to 100 square feet are still available. 

 

“I encourage anyone who hasn’t reserved a plot and begun planting to do so right away in order to be ready by harvest time” said Gilbert. 

As an additional feature, the opportunity to grow their own produce holds a special appeal for seasonal residents, many of whom reside in area RV parks during the summer season. 

Scott and Betsy Monfort of Queen Creek, Ariz., park hosts for AtRiver’s Edge RV Resort, are a good example. Along with providing hospitality at the park, the Monforts sought to explore further opportunities to volunteer in the local community. 

“When we looked into volunteering at St. Timothy’s Community Kitchen, we were introduced to Chef Roger Gilbert and the new Community Garden project,” Scott said. “We decided to help with the site preparation, and then to become gardeners ourselves.”

Betsy added  “We’re excited to have an opportunity to learn to grow vegetables. They don’t do well in the Arizona summer heat, so this will be a new experience.

“We’ve also been encouraging our fellow residents at the park to give it a try. It’s perfect for anyone with limited space, or who plans to be here just for summer.”

Less fortunate members of the community will also benefit, as gardeners are encouraged to dedicate a portion of their harvest for distribution to local community food providers.  

Those wishing to sign up for one of the few remaining plots, or to offer their support for the project, may contact Gilbert at 541-813-1178.