Even though up to a foot of snow could blanket parts of the region by tomorrow night, that didn’t stop the St. Louis County Library District from launching a pilot program to put community gardens outside some of its branch locations.
This morning volunteers began assembling 20 raised beds at Prairie Commons Branch in Hazelwood that organizers hope will serve as test plot for future efforts.
A common issue for community garden groups is varying levels of participation among the gardeners. The result of some gardeners not tending their beds on a regular basis means that, at best, the beds are weedy and aesthetically unpleasing or, at worst, the beds are completely overgrown and spreading weeds, diseases, and pests to the other beds. Beyond these consequences, lack of full involvement hampers the spirit of community--building relationships with one's neighbors, demonstrating pride in one's neighborhood--that community gardeners aspire to achieve.
Welcome to our bi-weekly gardening column. To complement our weekend programming, we're offering more arts, culture, and lifestyle articles. Here, I write about the trials and tribulations of my own gardening and that of others--including community gardeners working to establish a space in which to grow. I hope you get inspired to dig in the dirt yourself.