Presque Isle community garden offers a chance to grow

9 years ago

 Presque Isle community garden

offers a chance to grow

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — For residents who don’t have a yard or land, the new Presque Isle community garden has opened up a new opportunity to access the rewards of tending flowers, herbs and vegetables.
Of the various community gardens in Presque Isle over the years, “this is the first one that’s open to the whole city,” said Christa Galipeau, of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Aroostook County 4-H.
Four-foot by eight-foot garden plots are free for residents of the Presque Isle Housing Authority homes and members of housing subsidies programs; it’s $20 a plot for the public. The 4-H Club worked with the Presque Isle Housing Authority to secure the land, a section of a two acre grass field near the Birch street office and home neighborhood, and tilled and fertilized the soil. Galipeau and students in the club helped residents learn the basics of planting. “It can be a little daunting if you’ve never gardened before,” Galipeau said.
The University of Maine Extension Service offered free seeds and Myrtle Tree Greenhouses and Castle Hill Plants donated seedlings, “probably about $600 worth of plants,” Galipeau said.
Fifteen plots were allocated this year to both members of the housing programs and residents, including one man who bought four plots, Galipeau said. The Aroostook Agency on Aging is also maintaining a plot whose produce is offered to seniors.
They’re growing a range of vegetables and herbs, including the mainstays of corn, cabbage, tomatoes and pumpkins. One woman used her plot to plant a butterfly garden. The 4-H Club planted tomatoes and pumpkins in some of the extra plots, hoping to sell them for Halloween to raise money to extend the garden next year — to turn some of the large swath of grass into more plots or a even a temporary greenhouse.
“We have more space to expand and the housing authority tells us we could have more space if we want it,” Galipeau said. “It’ll depend on what kind of demand we have.”