A new growing season is about to launch. Vashon has three community vegetable gardens that need helping hands: the ‘garden in the round’ at Vashon Community Care, the raised beds on the Lutheran Church grounds, and the Food Bank garden. Whatever your growing skills, you can make a contribution and expand your skill base by helping. Garden managers will be available to work alongside you.
Garden work days are the first Saturday of each month from 10 to 12.
Meet at the VCC garden March 2ndand May 4th. Meet at the Lutheran Churchgarden April 6thand June 8th. Bring gloves and your favorite hand tools; tools will also be available.
Each of the gardens offers unique growing circumstances. The VCC garden is going water-wise this season, after the manager Julia Lakey made a trip to visit the “Back to Eden” garden of Gary Gautschi in Squim. Gary grows in about a foot of composted chips and does not irrigate. That is pretty amazing considering that Squim is in the rain shadow and gets only 16” of annual rain—less than half what we get locally. He does water his fall seeds until they sprout; then they also grow without irrigation. The video of Gary’s garden is on the web for viewing and he continues to give periodic tours. His plantings are spaced further apart than irrigated gardens but their size and flavor was outstanding. He describes his garden as “no till, no weeding, and no rotation” in addition to no watering.
Most of the chips and other amendments are already spread in the VCC garden on the north side of the building so helpers will actually be planting during the work days. The garden produce benefits the staff at VCC and the plan is to meet food safety needs so the residents can also eat the produce. For any questions, contact Julia Lakey at the Care Center at 567-4421.
The Care Center also has a garden outside the dining area that the residents work and community volunteers are needed there also. There are raised beds so folks can work in walkers and wheelchairs as well as ground plantings, flower pots and fruit trees. Last year the residents clamored to renew the planting beds: squash, corn, sunflowers, beans, salad veggies, sunflowers, and ornamentals burst from every planting surface.
The garden at the Lutheran Church grows produce for the Food Bank. The garden is directly behind the meeting hall. They have 14 raised beds with garlic and raspberries in permanent beds. Seasonally they grow beans, peas, kale, chard, and squash. During the harvest times, produce is gathered on Tuesday mornings for delivery by noon. For any questions, contact James Dam at the Vashon Lutheran Church. The email is firstname.lastname@example.org
The Food Bank has a garden to the north and east of the Food Bank building. Contact the Food Bank to see how volunteer gardeners can get involved.
So this spring, dig in with your neighbors to help our community gardens. Meet the first Sat. of each month from 10 to noon as scheduled above.