All together, now

So, that bowlful of paperwhites blooming on your table in January has inspired you to take up rake and shovel and plant your first garden this spring. But, you don’t have a rake, or a shovel, or a sunny patch of ground, or – let’s face it – much of an idea of how to get started. Why not join a community garden?

Common Ground Garden collage

Common Ground Garden members, Saranac Lake

There are two ways to join a community garden: by leasing your own plot for the season, or by volunteering with groups that grow vegetables for donation. The garden sponsored by the Ogdensburg Chamber of Commerce is typical of the first type. As Sandy Porter puts it in an email,

The plots are 24’ x 4’ in size.  The cost is $25 per season.  We provide all the garden tools, hose, water, garden shed, compost, etc.  You provide your seeds, bedding plants, trellis, if needed weeding, watering, harvesting.

Following is an incomplete list of community gardens that may have plots available in the NCPR region. Contact me with information on your community garden and I will update the list.

    Jay Contact Susan Hockert 518-523-4701.
    Grove Road, Au Sable Forks.
    Keene Contact Jim Herman 518-576-9791. Email.
    12 x 12 plot on Marcy field with water onsite provided by the town.  The annual dues are $20/plot.
    Two community work days:  one Memorial Day weekend and the other Columbus Day weekend.
    Lake Placid Contact Mike Farrell 518-523-9337. Email.
    Old Military Road. Plots available for Lake Placid residents, no charge.
    Ogdensburg Contact Sandy Porter 315-393-3620.  Email.
    See above.
    Plattsburgh Contact Doug Butdorf. Email.
    Plattsburgh Community Garden Group offers plots that are 100 square feet in “raised beds” 4′ wide x 25′ long (some are 300+ SqFt). Plot usage fee is $25 for the season. Fee is paid for use of land, access to water, tools and an adequate supply of organic soil amendment.
    Saranac Lake Contact Ellen Beberman 518-891-7470. Email.
    Common Ground Garden has 15′ x 20′ plots in two locations. Water, tools, deer fence and soil amendments provided.  $25/year plus a one-time cleanup deposit of $15.
    Tupper Lake Contact Mike Fritts 518-359-8370. Email.
    Demars Boulevard, next to the Town Hall. 12′ x 12′ plots, water provided. $25/year; half price for students and seniors.

Churches, such as the First Presbyterian Church of Saranac Lake, have organized volunteers to manage plots in community gardens for donation to local food pantries. In some areas local municipalities are partnering with Cornell Cooperative Extension to garden with, and for, under-served populations. Working alongside experienced gardeners is great way for beginners to get a feel for gardening.

    Canton and Potsdam Contact Unitarian Universalist Church of Canton (315)386-2498. Website.
    “We grow two community gardens–the Priest Field Garden in Canton and the Cecilie Garden in Potsdam. Our harvests are donated to local neighborhood centers, food pantries, and community dinners.”
    Hamilton County Contact Nancy Welch  518-548-6191. Email. Opportunities for group gardening in Indian Lake, Lake Pleasant, Raquette Lake, Speculator, Wells. Individual plots are available in Indian Lake and Wells.

Let me know if I’ve missed your town.

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