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Community garden prepares to sprout into spring, summer

Staff writer

Although it’s February, plans for Marion Community Gardens summer crops are well underway.

“Gordon Malin and Pam Byer have both been working on coming up with ideas on how to expand the garden,” FFA coordinator Mark Meyer said. “The garden committee has had a couple of meetings, and they just have been trying to find interest in the community.”

The group has been installing raised beds, walking paths around the raised beds, and moving mulch.

The first item to be planted this year, Malin said, will be potatoes.

“Then, later on in the spring, we will be planting 12 rows of sweet corn,” Malin said.

The garden may also include rhubarb, strawberries, and asparagus, along with more corn, potatoes, and onions.

“We’re hoping to expand the size and number of plants,” Meyer said. “I know Gordon is looking at rotating romaine lettuce and we’re hoping to get some drip irrigation set up and get a water system in.”

The committee also has been hard at work replacing soil after last year’s rainfall.

“Last summer we had a little lake in the middle of our property and we had an abundance of moisture all summer,” Malin said.

Another goal for the garden is to have small lots available for individuals to use, including FFA members.

“We’re interested in making that available this year,” Meyer said. “We have one person interested and we’d like to accommodate some others.

“Some FFA kids talked about space for people who want to have a small area that would be their own to plant whatever they want out there, and there’s certainly enough space.”

On Friday, Malin visited Hutchinson’s community garden for ideas on what to do for the Marion garden.

“It was very interesting,” Malin said. “They have been operating their community garden for almost 10 years. They’ve had lots of errors and lots of successes and victories.”

One idea Malin discovered was using bees for pollination.

“If we can, I’d like to do it,” Malin said.

Another new addition is a large two-wheeled wheelbarrow, a donation made by Chris Meierhoff.

“Somebody asked if someone had one, and I had one that I wasn’t using,” Meierhoff said, “so I donated it. Sometimes it’s just the thing to do.”

Last modified Feb. 23, 2017

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