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Community garden to host open house at new location

Aug 7, 2012 - By Emily Etheredge, Staff Writer

The community garden at Central Wyoming College will have an open house and peace pole dedication at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8.

Sherry Shelley, the community outreach coordinator for CWC, said this is the fourth year for the garden, and it has expanded to 90 plots.

"This is the first year the garden has moved to a new location," Shelley said. "It is directly east of Circle Drive or directly west of Brunton off of College View Drive."

Vegetables from the garden and homemade cookies will be available as refreshments at the open house. Doug Newlin made a peace pole for the garden that is inscribed with the phrase "May peace prevail on earth" in English, Spanish and Arabic.

"There is a blank spot on the pole to encompass all languages and pegs on the pole for people to hang medicine bundles," Shelley said.

Shelley said the garden is a partnership between CWC and the City of Riverton with watering provided by the city.

Gardeners who want a plot at the garden are required to pay $35 for the summer.

"The community garden is an advantage for those who want to garden because watering is continually maintained," Shelley said. "The summer months are typically times where people go out of town so if you have a plot at the garden, it is guaranteed everything will be watered."

A deer fence was installed around the garden this year.

"Although we enjoyed the deer the first or second year we had the garden, word apparently got around in the deer population that the garden was the place to be," Shelley said. "We were having large herds of deer come and just hang out in the garden and it got to be kind of a problem."

The rules are simple for renters: maintain a plot appropriately.

"Those who maintain their gardens have first dibs for the following year," Shelley said. "I typically start receiving calls for those who would like to have a plot in the garden during the fall, and I create a waiting list of people."

Those who plant in the community garden are encouraged to use no chemicals or pesticides.

Shelley said crops this year have been lush, and large watermelons and cantaloupes have appeared.

"We have seen some really large watermelons, which is unusual," Shelley said. "I think it has something to do with the really high temperatures we have had."

The pepper crops have been plentiful, but small issues have arisen with bean and tomato crops.

"We have struggled a bit this year with our tomatoes and beans, but overall our produce has been amazing," Shelley said.

Those who have plots in the garden are invited to garden at any time of the day.

"There are a lot of gardeners who have many different times of the day they enjoy gardening," Shelley said. "There are those who garden later in the day and those who like to be up at dawn. We even have some people who stop by on their lunch break to harvest and work."

Shelley said the watering schedules are from 4 a.m. to 8 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

"We originally set this schedule with the thought that it might flush out the deer," Shelley said. "It turns out deer don't really mind showers at all."

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