Another project the RV Area Community Gardens developed was an demonstration Enabling Garden.
At the October 2020 meeting the Directors decided to create the Enabling Garden to demonstrate alternative gardening methods for people who have mobilitiy issues, physical limitations and mental limitations. It is also hoped that the demonstration garden will continue to encourage more people to garden at their homes or develop their own garden plot at the Community Garden.
In the Spring of 2021, preparation of the Enabling Garden began. Thursday, before garbage pick up in the village, was a prime time to scour the village for containers appropriate for planting veggies. Gardener Tom constructed two raised beds. Cardinal Glass donated plastic recycling bins. Standing sinks were found on the street. A cow tank and child's swimming pool were donated. Boxes and tent frames were donated by American Players Theatre. Mulch was spread to prevent weeds and eliminate mud on the site. Stands were constructed for containers that needed them. Holes were drilled in the bottom of containers for drainage. Containers with big drainage holes had them reduced to prevent loss of soil. Containers were filled with soil and mulch in preparation for planting. The project was fairly inexpensive requiring the purchase of some hardware for building the container holders and dirt for the containers. Everything else was either found or donated.
As the Spring progressed Gardener Forest asked to garden on the site. He had found that he would not be able to garden normally due to back issues. Forest and Cait worked together to further develop the demonstration garden. A variety of other containers were donated and trellises were strung on the tent frames. Containers were arranged and planted. Straw bales were put in place.
Forest said it was a successful year with a lot of produce harvested and it really eased the strain on his back. He will be gardening the same spot in 2022. Stop by and ask him some questions this summer.
People interested in developing a garden at home should be on the lookout for discarded containers. It is not to early to start planning your garden. Don't forget to put holes in any containers with solid bottoms so that water will drain out. Be careful with fabric bag containers. We found that fabric shopping bag containers rotted quickly.
If people would like better looking containers and can afford to purchase them, raised bed containers and boxes may be found at local stores such as Menards and Farm and Fleet. Gardeners Supply Store, Burpee Seeds and Johnny's Seeds, online sources, contain a variety of raised bed and containers for planting.
If you need advice, don't be afraid to ask us. Or, check out your local library for books on the topic of raised beds, container gardening, accesible gardening, enabled gardening, or gardening for the disabled. The internet, especially YouTube, has many videos on these topics also.
If people want to develop an enabling garden in a plot at the Gardens, we will help make it happen. Contact us.