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Community garden season nears

The St. Croix Valley Community Garden is looking for people. People who want to grow their own vegetables. People who want to grow the special varieties they like. People who want to know what was put on those vegetables to help them grow - or keep the weeds down.

Community Garden organizers want people who would like to rent a small plot for the summer, grow some vegetables, help keep their food budget down and have some fun and camaraderie with other gardeners at the same time.

Started as a Master Gardener project in 2001 to provide the opportunity for New Richmond citizens to rent a small plot for personal gardening, the first Community Garden was located at the Health Center. The Community Garden moved to its current site at Garden Expressions nursery, when Highway 64 was improved. The garden is located at 2050 Highway 65, 1.5 miles north of New Richmond on land donated by Jonna and Dick Klucas.

Garden plots are available for rent to anyone. Renting for $30, the plots are 20 feet by 20 feet and are tilled prior to the garden season. Water is available on site, as is a restroom. For rental information, contact Garden Expressions or contact Carolyn Barrette at 715-549-6438 or

The garden is run as a community service project by the St. Croix Valley Master Gardener Association. The purpose of the garden has been to provide vegetables for senior centers, senior housing, the homeless shelter and Public Health food programs among other recipients. The service area has primarily been St. Croix County with occasional deliveries into Polk and Pierce counties. Also serving as an educational project, one of the plots will be devoted to the Master Gardener vegetable trial of vegetables, herbs and sunflowers this year. Master Gardeners is a University of Wisconsin-Extension program.

Every May New Richmond high school students help plant the garden on Service Learning Day. The high school volunteers have been responsible for planting rows of onions, green beans and other seed vegetables, as well as preparing beds for tomatoes, peppers and vine crops planted later in the month. Service Day will be May 17 this year.

The garden offers the opportunity for persons who do not have sufficient or proper space to garden to rent a parcel and grow their own vegetables and flowers, or who just want some extra growing room and the opportunity to talk gardening with other gardeners get some great fun and exercise in the process. Volunteers are always welcome.