|Warmer weather gets the green thumbs twitching|
|Written by Chris Lee|
With the area experiencing a couple of nice days over the past few weeks, the green thumbs in town were surely itching.
CSU Extension horticulturist Linda Langelo said it’s time to start thinking about getting involved with the community garden in Holyoke.
Of course the seeds won’t go into the ground until the last freeze sweeps through the area, but it’s never too early to start preparing for the growing season.
The community garden in Holyoke will begin its fifth year after being created in 2007. The garden, located on S. Reynolds St., is home to many types of vegetables during the summer months. On any given day throughout the summer, one can drive by and see people picking weeds, watering or harvesting the crop.
What began with merely four people, the garden now sees roughly 25 people participate in one aspect or another throughout the growing season. However, they are always looking for additional help and resources.
The idea of the community garden is to let people come in, grow pretty much whatever they wish and experience the gardening life. Some of the food is donated to the food pantry.
Langelo noted there are people who enjoy planting seeds, a group who enjoys weeding, some who like watering and then those who like to harvest the vegetables. By helping with the garden, one isn’t signing their summer away to spend every day in the garden. Any help is welcomed.
Langelo said there are many people to thank who have helped in the past. She said almost every aspect is accomplished because of the generosity of people.
One of the bigger pieces is the water. The City of Holyoke donates the water which Langelo said makes everything possible. “I don’t know what we’d do without it,” she added.
Members of Holyoke FFA Chapter come together to prepare the ground each year, according to Langelo.
A garden can be planted almost anywhere that receives adequate sunlight and water, but the community garden brings people together for the experience.
“This is an experience that people can share with others,” Langelo said.
She noted those who garden feel a sense of self accomplishment. “They build esteem and self confidence,” she added.
Langelo also hopes to see a farmers’ market started in Holyoke. She said Burlington has seen the start of one and she hopes that can happen locally. The market doesn’t have to be just about food, she said. Arts and crafts would also be something that could be offered.
CSU Extension watches after four other community gardens located in Julesburg, Burlington, Akron and Yuma.
With spring just around the corner, people are urged to think about helping with the garden. Any questions may answered by calling Langelo at 854-3616.
“Gardening is a reflection of character,” Langelo said. “Whatever you put into it, you’re going to get out of it.”