Register now for community garden plots

Duane Hicks

Believe it or not, planting season is coming up sooner than later.
And for “green thumbs” without a garden of their own, that means it’s time to register for a plot at the Fort Frances Community Garden.
Health promoter Elaine Fischer of the Northwestern Health Unit said the garden has been expanded this year to include a total of 31 raised beds, 43 ground plots, and 24 kids’ plots, with room for possible expansion.
That said, there’s only a limited number of plots available at this time.
“Fortunately for us, but unfortunately for the public, we have many, many returning gardeners,” noted Fischer.
“If they wanted to hold onto their plot, then we definitely let them,” she explained. “But some have since changed their minds.
“We have a couple of open plots in the kids’ garden, as well as raised beds, but I anticipate they’re going to go pretty fast,” Fischer added, saying there’s probably a half-dozen plots left in total.
Stop by the health unit office (396 Scott St.) to register and pay as soon as you can if you don’t yet have a plot, Fischer urged.
The cost for raised beds and ground plots is $20 for the season. Kids’ garden club plots cost $10.
Returning gardeners have until April 30 to pay for their plots. If they’re not paid by then, they will open up, as well, said Fischer.
“I will start a waiting list if need be,” she noted. “In the past, we’ve always been able to get people into plots.”
If a plot is not planted by June 15 (weather permitting), it may be forfeited and offered to the next person on the waiting list, Fischer said.
She added community garden volunteers are aiming to have the “garden tilled, staked, and ready to go” for the May long weekend.
Gardeners have to have their plots cleared out by Oct. 15. The past two years have had “fabulous falls,” noted Fischer, adding some crops still have been in the plots right through to October.
Crops grown over the years have ranged from lentils, cabbage, kale, and carrots to radishes, varieties of tomatoes, cucumbers, pumpkins, and squash.
If you have any questions, contact Fischer at 274-9827 ext. 3638.
Kids’ Garden Club
The community garden once again will feature programming for youth in the form of the Kids’ Garden Club.
The aforementioned $10 fee for a 10’x10′ kids’ plot also includes seeds and plants for their gardens, as well as membership in the Kids’ Garden Club.
The Kids’ Garden Club will hold its kick-off meeting on Monday, May 14 from 5-7 p.m. at the Métis Hall (714 Armit Ave.)
This event, which is open to all registered Kids’ Garden Club members and their families, will include a meal at 5:30 p.m.
Club members also will be planning their garden plots, painting sign posts, visiting booths to meet special guests and check out special activities, and learning about gardening and what their garden responsibilities will be.
Going forward, the kids’ club will meet every Monday from 5-6 p.m. starting May 28, when the youngsters will first plant their gardens.
Volunteers then will be out with them every week to help the kids maintain their gardens, as well as do fun activities.
To sign up, contact Fischer at 274-9827 ext. 3638.
In other news, Fischer said the community garden program is being expanded this year, with some raised beds being added at the Sixth Street Housing so families there can join in on growing their own vegetables.