Community Garden season begins soon in KaysvilleApr 05, 2021 01:52PM ● By Karmel Harper
Along Kaysville’s Main Street, amidst the local businesses and across the street from Davis High School, there sits a plot of land, which, during the winter in its dormant state, can easily be overlooked. But within the coming weeks as Spring and Summer’s warmth and sunshine envelop us, this corner will come to life – figuratively and literally.
The greenery of budding seedlings will soon cover the barren plots of dirt and the area will be buzzing about with local residents tending their little section of paradise - planting, weeding, watering, socializing, and eventually harvesting their gardens.
The community garden is managed by Kaysville’s Ron Zollinger. In 2011, Zollinger, along with his wife Eva Kay and daughter, Rona Kay, toured San Francisco to see how homeowners use native plants in their landscaping. Inspired by the Bay Area’s endeavor to raise awareness for native plants, Zollinger approached Kaysville’s City Council that fall to form a similar undertaking in his hometown. The Kaysville Yard and Garden committee was born and Zollinger has served as chairperson ever since.
After several years of the committee’s efforts to beautify the town, including “Yards of the Month” recognitions, Zollinger saw the need for a community garden which would allow residents with little or no yard space to also plant and enjoy a garden. In 2014, Kaysville’s first community garden emerged near City Hall on a small area of land with 15 plots, each having their own drip line. Yet the popularity and demand for personal garden space outgrew this original area as only a year later, Zollinger negotiated legal arrangements with Don Cottrell of Kaysville and his sister, Lorraine Kidman of Brigham City, in order to use their vacant property located at 478 South Main Street, where the current garden resides today.
The garden’s water is sourced from Haights Creek Irrigation Company and it has two water lines for 59 garden plots. Each plot is about 6 feet wide and 45 – 50 feet long. Participants can reserve one to two plots on a first-come, first-served basis for $20 each for the entire growing season which is from March to end of October / November. Reservations do fill up every year with a waiting list.
The fees are used towards the purchase of support materials, watering systems, a few tools for participant use, and future enhancements. However, participants also contribute to the collective improvements of the garden. Eagle Scout projects on the site include the building of the garden sign, the moving of the shed from another location, and the construction of the raised garden bed which is designated for gardeners in wheelchairs or those with difficulties kneeling down to work a plot. Utah State University even offers their gardening expertise by showcasing water-wise plants in the garden.
While the city provides Spring power tilling to the plots, drip lines, and a dumpster in the Fall for plot clean-up, the planting, weeding, maintaining, and harvesting, is entirely up to the participants. Although priority is given to Kaysville residents, the garden is an all-inclusive shared space and welcomes all people regardless of race, creed, color, national, or ethnic origin, religious, marital status, age, sex, sexual orientation, or disability. This inclusive atmosphere allows for true community, friendship, education, and collaboration.
Zollinger expresses that community gardens “are common ground for growing plants that feed, heal, and give aesthetic pleasure. They become a civic space where people work to nourish themselves, their families, and friends. Gardeners’ shared labor builds a stronger sense of belonging to their physical environment as well as encouraging interaction with nature and nurturing green spaces. Community gardens are also places of cultural exchange, sprouting new friendships among diverse groups of people.”
If you would like more information or reserve a plot, visit: https://www.kaysvillecity.com/764/Community-Garden.