Productive with produce

Jason Hommes | Staff Writer

Several first-year members of the Rock Rapids Community Garden gathered Wednesday evening, July 25, to share tips, inspect their produce, and talk about how the year has gone. A total 18 people planted produce in the garden this year, and they expect more to join them next year. (Photo/Jason Hommes)

It’s been a successful first year for the community garden in Rock Rapids. The garden is located on South Sixth Avenue just west of Tama Street in an area that had previously been occupied by houses but has since transitioned to “green space” after the flood of 2014. The city of Rock Rapids has been continually looking at ways to utilize some of the new green space areas, and one idea led to the creation of the community garden.

The garden currently has 12 plots and has been used by a total 18 gardeners this year (some single people and some couples). But there’s plenty of room to grow and expand. “We are looking to expand and we do have plenty of room to expand if there’s interest, and there seems to be that interest as we’ve already heard from some additional people who might be interested for next year,” said Deb Warner, one of the garden’s members.

Several of the gardeners gathered Wednesday evening, July 25, to showcase their vegetables and discuss how things have gone so far this year. The overall consensus is that things have gone quite well. “The gardeners have been very pleased with their produce so far this year, and we’ve been very happy with the response as well,” said Warner.

Looking ahead, Warner said she expects the garden will be even bigger next year, and the group is hoping to add some raised plots that would make gardening easier for senior citizens and other people who aren’t able to get down on their hands and knees to plant vegetables and pull weeds. The gardeners are also hoping they’ll have easier access to water in the future.

“The only downside so far is that we don’t have easy access to water here just yet, but we’re hoping in the future the city will be able to provide us with that access through a hydrant,” explained Warner. “I think the city wanted to wait and see how this year went before making a decision on that, which certainly makes sense.”

While much of this year’s produce has yet to be harvested, many of the gardeners are already looking ahead to next year. “We’ve had several requests from these current gardeners that they’d like to have their same plot again next year and some of them even want to expand into more plots if possible, so we’re very encouraged by that,” added Warner.

Each plot is 10×20 feet and the green space offers plenty of room for the community garden to expand and add more plots. Anyone who is interested in obtaining a plot and joining the community garden next year can reach out to one of the current members or send an email to rrcommunitygarden@gmail.com. Anyone who is interested can also find the group on Facebook by searching for “Rock Rapids Community Garden.”

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