SustainAbility: Community gardening

Growers in the Grand Valley are venturing beyond backyard gardening to embrace community gardens and community supported agriculture (CSA).

Community gardens are a popular option when obstacles prevent you from gardening at home.

Grand Junction Main Street Community Garden already is a success in its fourth season at 10th and Main streets.

Nora Wedemeyer, a member of the organizing committee, said the garden has an ongoing registration process that can still accommodate another 10 or so members. You can register at the next work session at the garden on Tuesday .

Membership dues are $35 per household per season to share the work and harvest of organic vegetables, herbs and flowers in the communal plot on Main Street. Your household also commits to working in the garden for at least 10 hours during the growing season.

Cameron Place CSA lends a hand with this community garden. Part of the harvest is earmarked to give back to the community through the local Grow Another Row project.

May 7 is the big day for planting at the Main Street garden. For information, go to

The Grand Junction Community Garden is returning for a second season just north of the central library. This garden offers 28 individual plots and only a couple of spots are still available according to Dawn Gwin, assistant garden coordinator.

A $75 fee is required to buy-in for each 20-x-20 foot plot as well as a signed commitment to work the land for the entire season. Water is included in the price and instruction is available.

The ground already has been tilled at the garden so act quickly to claim a remaining spot through the CSU Tri River Extension office.

For additional details call Gwin at 314-4400 or Susan Rose at 244-1841.

Two of the plots at the Grand Junction garden were purchased by the Colorado-Wyoming Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society for a new project called “Raise the Beds.”

This foray into adaptive gardening is the brainchild of Karen Galloway, program director for the society, and master gardener Laurie Reiser.

With assistance from Home Depot and the RSVP handymen, in the form of lumber cut to specification and manpower, six tabletop gardens were built 30 inches off the ground. The 3-x-6 foot mini gardens will be sublet to gardeners with differing levels of mobility for $10 and some sweat equity. Hard surface pathways are being installed for easy access. Contact Galloway at 257-1831 to participate in Raise the Beds.

Another way to garden away from home is community supported agriculture. Cameron Place CSA in Palisade is an established organic farm that has been growing for seven years.

By making a financial commitment at the beginning of the season, you provide a secure foundation for the farmers to prepare and cultivate fields. As a CSA member you then receive a share of the produce during the growing season. A small work investment to the farm lets you and your family get your hands dirty and see how your food actually grows.

Jessica Washkowiak, member coordinator for 2011, said the CSA already has 60 memberships but summer shares will be available until the first week of June.

Shares come in a variety of sizes and contain different products so there is something for everyone. You can learn all about the CSA or become a member at or by calling Jessica at 402-8364.

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Adele Israel is a Grand Junction writer who has been involved in sustainability efforts for some 20 years. Have a question or column idea for Adele? E-mail her at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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