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Burns Lake community garden offers another season of growing together

Members can receive a garden bed by volunteering and paying a small insurance fee
There are still beds available for new members at the Burns Lake Community Garden

The Burns Lake Community Garden started planting for the 2024 season on Tuesday, May 14. Despite a short growing season, the northern region receives plenty of sun in the summer months.

Susan Russell is a board member with the community garden. She said members meet on the first night at the garden, located behind the Catholic church in Burn’s Lake, to do maintenance and choose their beds for the season. The Burns Lake Community Forest provides funding to help the garden cover maintenance costs.

“We’re going to have our first work bee,” Russell said. “Members are to put in four hours of work in exchange for gardening there.”

Outside of the six “work bee” evenings, members are free to work their garden beds however they like.

In addition to the volunteer hours, members pay a $20 insurance fee to participate in the program.

“We also learn about different kinds of gardening and share gardening tips,” Russell said.

At the beginning of the season, Russell said people work the soil and prepare the greenhouses and outside beds, but this year people are putting in potatoes and garlic because of the early spring.

There are 16 greenhouse beds, eight in-ground beds, and more than 20 raised beds in the Burns Lake Community Garden. Returning members are given the same garden plots they had in previous years. New members can fill out an application on the community garden website and pay the insurance fee.

“We still have a couple of beds left so people can still join,” Russell said.

Members are asked to adhere to community garden guidelines and participate in six work days during the first six weeks of the season, in addition to one work day in the fall.

“We normally have a potluck to enjoy some harvest, as well,” Russell said.

Russell said there’s been increased interest in the community garden with the high cost of groceries.

“There’s a lot of local information about when it’s best to plant,” Russell said. “If you’re not sure how to garden you can learn at the work bees and get some tips from some of the master gardeners.”