Community gardeners get their plots

Deena Fine knows she's no green thumb.

So when she found out about plans for a community garden, she knew she'd found a way to finally learn the ins and outs of growing vegetables.

With daughters Morgan, 7, and Delany, 4, in tow Fine and and friend Tannis Causey were in line with around 15 others Thursday to get their small garden plots at the east end of the Carson City Cemetery. The girls are excited to grow pumpkins, sunflowers, squash and peppers, which they've already started as seedlings in paper cups at home.

"I've been wanting to do a garden for a long time, but it's not part of what my family did growing up " Fine said. "I need some hand holding."

And hand holding she'll get.

Around 10 gardening mentors will be available almost daily to help the novice and professional gardeners get their 4-foot by 6-foot plots into vegetable producing shape.

"It's therapy to get out and dig in dirt, like a kid making mud pies," said mentor Barbara Ustica. "It's good exercise. Especially for seniors, it gives people a reason to get out of the house, pull weeds, grumble and gripe."

Gardeners gathered Thursday were almost as excited about meeting each other as they were about getting their plots.

Mary Wulkau lost her husband and gardening partner a couple years ago. She's thinking of planting at least carrots and tomatoes in her space, but she is almost equally excited about getting out in the dirt with other people.

"I don't want to be at home doing it alone," she said. "This will be a nice fellowship with one another."

Gardeners paid $5 for each plot in the 130-foot by 20 foot garden.

JoAnne Skelly, University of Nevada, Reno Cooperative Extension educator, said she started with small plots as a test for the garden's first year. Next year, though, the garden could take up the roughly 1/4 mile skinny space allotted to it underneath a power line easement. Skelly said gardeners may be surprised to find what they can plant and how much they can produce on a small plot.

The garden, an effort of the cooperative extension, the Carson City Senior Center and the Parks and Recreation Department, was to be placed at the end of senior center property, but rusty water lines made the location too expensive. However, with a $500 anonymous donation, and water pipe donations from Ewing Irrigation, the garden was moved to the cemetery and hooked to city water for around $200. Parks department put in the water pipes and tilled the soil. Full Circle Composting and Nevada Organics donated compost for the initial plots and Skelly is working on getting a free rental shed in which to store equipment.

The garden could use a few more donated items, from hoses to benches. For information, call 887-2252.

To donate items to or for information on the community garden, call JoAnne Skelly at 887-2252.


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