The Roundup -

Well Received Community Garden Is Ready For Its Second Season


The community garden just south the of the Eastern Ag Research Center consists of 24 garden beds and provides water and shared gardening tools. The project has been well received and is a welcome addition to the city of Sidney.

This is the second year the community garden has been a reality in Sidney. After expressed interest in the project from participants of a community conference, local Commissioners got the ball rolling and asked Tim Fine of the MSU Extension Office to head up the venture. The Eastern Ag Research Center (EARC) donated land for the community garden from one of their former research fields and the layout was modeled after a community garden in Miles City, MT.

"It's a good project and it has been well received," commented Fine. "The first year was a lot of prep work, building the beds and getting everything ready; this year it's really taken off."

There are 24 4' wide 8' long raised beds which are all currently full. The cost is $20 per cedar bed and gardeners have access to water, tools in the on-site shed, and can come to tend to their gardens at their convenience. In addition, gardeners agree to keep their garden beds well maintained and be "good neighbors"; if beds aren't maintained they become the property of the community garden and any produce is donated to the Senior Coalition or Food Bank for example. Prior to May 1st, there was a limit of one bed per person and after that, gardeners could purchase additional remaining beds.

The idea was to give people who have limited space, such as those who live in apartments, a place to grow their own fruits, vegetables, and herbs. This year, there are members of the Lodge utilizing the space and the Boys and Girls Club is using ten beds as part of their summer program where the kids will alternate days working in the community garden.

There is a group of Master Gardeners that help with preparation and clean up, however any volunteers during the spring and fall are welcome. There is room to expand in future years as the EARC is willing to provide the space, and a fence and compost pile are upcoming additions.

Fine would like to extend a special thank you to the Commissioners who made the project possible and to the EARC for providing the space. He can be reached at 406-433-1206 for any further information.


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