Argos begins community garden

ARGOS – It is garden time again in Argos. For the second year, the town will sponsor a community vegetable garden, thanks to the Town Council and clerk-treasurer Patty Jones, who spearheads the project.

Last year marked the inauguration of the local fresh produce source for town residents. “The farmers’ markets in Culver and Plymouth are too far away for some residents to take advantage of,” said Jones. “Others might not have the money to spend on fresh vegetables,” she added. Thus was born the Argos Community Garden.

Finding a location was a hurdle at first. Finally, the water department Chief Operator Nick Wood said: “Why don’t you use the yard right outside the water department fence? It’s not being used for anything, and we can provide a convenient source of water. As a result, the garden plot of roughly ¼ acre is located behind the municipal building and between the water tower and the water department (see photo). The water department also installed a faucet at the edge of the plot for convenient watering.

The next hurdle was soil. The soil of the garden was hard and difficult to till, much less plant. A friendly volunteer bulldozed the soil and gravel off to the side, and loads of good topsoil were donated and spread.

Then, there was the purchase of the plants, fertilizer, tools, and other necessities. Last year, these were provided ad hoc by interested individuals. The garden project was begun, although not easily.

This year, things are much improved, according to Jones. She insists that the project is not hers alone, but is a joint effort of the town. The plot is already prepared for a garden. She is asking for donations of plants (not seeds). She plans to grow potatoes in an innovative container method which will save garden space for other vegetables. She will grow several different types of plants, and asks that you call her at the Clerk’s office to see what plants she needs. She is requesting no money donations to avoid having to account for money spent. The Town Council, however, voted to give her $200 from the promotional fund, which benefits the entire town.

Unlike some community gardens in which residents are assigned a small space and must then tend their own little garden, the Argos garden is communal. That is, vegetables will be grown en masse, and will be free to anyone who needs them. Jones and other volunteers will maintain and water the garden, and those harvesting vegetables are asked to deal with weeds as they see them.

(Published in the May 7, 2013 edition of the Pilot News.)