Wanamingo Community Gardens


It's that time of year again, when we turn our thoughts to vine ripened tomatoes, fresh peas and beans, and all kinds of fresh produce that comes with a garden. Wanamingo has been providing a Community Garden space for several years now, and it is located at the end of Nelson Drive in the Torkelson Park area of town. There are 9 plots measuring 25 ft by 25 ft, and 12 raised beds that measure 4 ft by 8 ft. This year, all the raised beds are rented out for mere $25 refundable deposit, but there are 3 ground plots still available, if you have the itch to stick your hands in the dirt and raise some scrumptious food, or even flowers.

Here's how it works. If you want to rent one of the available plots, contact Michael Boulton at (507) 824-2477, and he will sign you up. You then come in and sign a contract that spells out your responsibilities, and give him $25. This money will be refunded upon the end of the season, after you have cleaned up your plot. If you would rather, you may contact Michael at cityadministratoe@cityofwanamingo.com to get signed up.

The people who lease each space will work the plots up in the spring and fall, and the city provides water access for the gardens. The city will assign plots at the beginning of the season, and reserves the right to have full access to the plots at anytime during the growing season to make sure all the rules are being followed. Some of the rules are having your plot at least halfway planted by the 1st of June, and fully planted by July 1st. There will be no chemicals used except BT (Bacillus Thuringiensis) or Insecticidal Soaps, both which are considered organic and safe. Plots must be kept clean and free of weeds, diseased plants, and vining plants must be contained to the assigned plot. And the biggest rule... NO entering or picking from other plots without permission from the leaser of the plot. No pets, smoking or alcohol in the garden areas for obvious reasons. There are other rules, but these are the biggies! The city also has the first right of refusal to deny access to lessees who may not have followed the rules in past seasons.

Unfortunately, last year there were some pilfering problems. I like to think that the persons who were not growing gardens, but helping themselves to other people's produce were confused as to the idea of what a Community Garden is all about. Therefore I would like to make sure the meaning is clear..... These plots are rented by individuals in the community to raise their own food to eat, can, give away, or whatever they want to do with what they work so hard to grow. This is not a garden where the "community" can come out and help themselves to whatever they want to take. The definition of that would be stealing. While I can understand that "Community Garden" could be construed to mean that the gardens are for the people who live here to eat, that is not the case. So, if you want fresh produce, rent a plot, and join our community. Otherwise, there are Farmers Markets, and CSA's (Community Supported Agriculture) to consider.

And last but certainly not least, the City assumes no liability for injury, damage, theft or loss of property belonging to garden participants before, during or after the lease of the plots. Each participant will need to sign a garden contract, a liability waiver and pay the $25 refundable deposit before the plot is assigned.

So, there you have it....the rules, regulations and opportunity to "grow your own"! At this writing, there are still 3 plots available, so give Michael a call and have fun gardening!