RIDGWAY – After a successful growing season, it’s time to celebrate the Ridgway Community Garden at the 2008 Harvest Festival and Open House this Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. at the community garden located at the corner of North Laura and Charles streets in Ridgway. Everyone is invited to attend to share ideas and help plan next year’s garden.
“We are finishing the first year of the community garden and it’s the cause of the celebration,” said Judith Bartlett, who helped create the community garden over a year ago. The land for the Ridgway Community Garden was donated by Liza and John Ortman in 2007 as a tribute to Liza’s grandfather, from whom she inherited the land. “We laid the first bed last fall and this summer was the first growing season. We had a pretty good harvest.”
Planning and workshops will be a part of Sunday’s activities, which are designed to engage the whole family. It’s a sort of “putting the garden to rest” fest.
“We are preparing it for winter,” Bartlett said. “We will be brainstorming for next year’s garden. There will be refreshments, children’s activities and a workshop on worm-iculture, which is actually allowing or creating a situation where worms can take care of the soil’s decomposition.”
There will also be a workshop on using cold frames, which are used before and after the growing season to encourage or maintain plant growth when the temperatures drop.
“There will be opportunities for people to learn about various aspects of gardening who aren’t sure because of the altitude and the ecosystem we are in,” Bartlett said. “We want to provide a place where people can come and learn about gardening at the community garden or take the information home. We want to show hands-on what community is all about. It’s about information sharing and getting to know each other.”
Bartlett said this year’s garden was a success not only on-site, but also because of the information imparted to aspiring gardeners, particularly that relevant to Ridgway’s unique climate. In the garden itself, successful crops of everything from tomatoes to herbs to potatoes were grown, with the younger gardeners planting squash and pumpkins in the children’s garden.
“Last season was a good start,” she Bartlett. “We still have quite a bit of land available. We are really dong a big outreach this fall and we want to include other people in the garden.” Work groups are created to take care of the plots. “In this regard, we are looking for people to think in terms of the full picture rather than what’s mine and yours.
“Everyone is encouraged to come and participate,” Bartlett added. “Its not just about gardening. It’s about our community.”
For more information on the celebration or the garden call Bartlett at 626-4242 or Jessica Shurman at 626-5657.