Don’t have space for a garden? Rent a spot in the Orchard Community GardenApr 08, 2022 12:58PM ● By Kerry Angelbuer
April is the perfect time to plan for a beautiful yard and garden but what if residents don’t have a spot for that garden that will eventually yield the tastiest tomatoes that are impossible to buy in the store? North Salt Lake has created a rentable gardening space near downtown, just east of Orchard Elementary. It is called the Orchard Community Garden.
Gardeners can rent an eight by four-foot raised bed filled with light, perfect soil that is hooked to a drip irrigation system for $20 ($30 for non-residents) for a whole year. A smaller square box is available for $10 ($15 for non-residents). Although the water is supplied by the city, the gardener maintains the actual box irrigation system. They are also responsible for preparing soil, weeding, harvesting, and cleaning up the box at the end of the season.
Volunteers are also being sought to help clean up the general site and to teach gardening classes. In addition to classes, other social events are planned. A harvest party, for example, bringing all participants together. The garden is centrally located from all points of the city.
There are many benefits of gardening besides the harvest. Nurturing plants from seeds or starts offers a sense of purpose. Gardening has also been shown to elevate mood. Home grown produce provides fresher food free of many of the pesticides and herbicides used in commercial gardening. Being out in the sunshine also adds a boost of vitamin D.
Some yards in North Salt Lake and Woods Cross are made up of lake-bed soil which is hard and so difficult to cultivate. Utah State University can test the soil and find the composition and what additives are needed to make a successful garden. One Foxboro resident discovered that their family’s soil was high in zinc and lead making it unsuitable for potatoes and other root crops. Renting a box at the community garden is one option, though building raised boxes with planting soil could also be considered.
Reserve a box by calling Ali Avery at 801-335-8799 anytime after April 1. An application can also be filled out online at the Orchard Community Garden website. Apply before April 15 when the water to the boxes becomes available. Although there are only 26 spots available, Avery said that a few boxes were left unclaimed last year so supply is meeting demand at this point.
Visit the community garden to see a well-designed box and watering system or check out the garden’s Facebook page nslgardens. l