Planting Day is Almost Here

It is just before Memorial Day and the community garden at the Strawberry HOA in Aurora, Colorado is well on its way to blossoming into the centerpiece of the community.  Currently, the plot of land on which the garden will grow is still vacant of new plant life, though it has been tilled and prepped for planting.  It does now feature a rabbit fence to prevent critters from having daily feasts.  It also features new signage: “Strawberry Community Garden – Planting Day: Saturday, June 1.”  It’s official!  On the first Saturday of June 2013, community members will gather at the garden site to plant seeds and seedlings.

There will be numerous types of plants at the garden, and they will be arranged in consideration of factors such as compatibility and symbiosis with neighboring plants, need for shade and water and pest control.  The garden plan was developed in coordination with Nick’s Garden and Farm Market; one of the garden’s largest sponsors.  Other organizations will be providing plants and other materials to the garden as well.  Welby Gardens will generously be donating hundreds of seedlings, International Development Enterprises will be contributing drip-irrigation materials and the City of Aurora is granting $300 for garden equipment.  All of the support from community businesses and other entities really has invigorated the garden initiative and highlights how important and well-received community gardens are.

There will be a great variety of fruits, vegetables, herbs and ornamental flowers in the garden.  Examples include strawberries, blackberries, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, melons, garlic, dark leafy greens, sage, lavender, horseradish and marigolds…just to name a few.  They will join the existing pine trees at the site.  These trees will provide shade for the seating at the garden.  Unlike their counterparts, the Russian olive trees at the site will need to go.  They are considered to be noxious weeds and actually release toxins into the ground to kill competing plants, which, in this case, would be the plants introduced into the garden.

Perhaps the most fascinating development in regards to the garden is the possibility of there being a beehive installed.  This hive would be provided and maintained by Denver Urban Homesteading.  The hive is of particular significance because there has recently been massive and unexplained bee die-off across the United States.  Without our helpful friends, pollination couldn’t occur and producing food to sustain our nation’s millions of inhabitants would become incredibly difficult.

As for the installation of new toilets, the auditing process is wrapping up.  After receiving much interest in the project initially, we have about reached the budgeted number of toilets that can be purchased within the first phase of the project.  It’s reassuring to know that so many people want to see their community become more environmentally sustainable.