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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Leaving the Nest...Goodbye to Alpine

By Llyn Peabody

After much deliberation and soul-searching, we've decided to close down the Alpine Sharing Garden and focus exclusively on the Monroe site. Since having built the greenhouse (which requires us to water it at least once a day, and open and close vents based on daily and nightly temperatures) we realized it was just going to stretch us too thin to try and manage Alpine as well.

Sign painted by Chris Burns - 4' X 6'

There is a possibility that other people in Alpine may continue to garden there. The Garden Club (a group of about eight people who oversee the park) have agreed to let the fence and the raspberry patch remain. The garden will need major remedial work as much of the grass has already filled in where we had garden beds these last three years. (It's amazing to me how fast it has happened! No need to worry about the lawn coming back!) It's not clear how the garden will be organized and how people can get involved but you can let us know if you want to be put in touch with other interested gardeners and we'll connect you. If there isn't enough interest to keep the Alpine Garden going, the Sharing Gardens will come and remove the fence and use it at the Monroe site as the fencing was all either donated to us, or paid for out of donated funds. The raspberries will be distributed to those who are interested.

Alpine Garden - before the fence

We feel bittersweet at the passing of this milestone. Alpine is where the Sharing Gardens were born and it will always hold happy memories: I remember, before we'd even started the fence, potting up raspberry cuttings donated for use in the gardens and to share with the community. We had an amazing first season that went from ground-breaking on April 15 to our first harvest just three months later on July 13. To me, just new to gardening, it seemed miraculous to turn a lawn into food in such a short time. The Alpine garden was the site for the filming of the Peak Moment TV program (click here to view it) and several fun potlucks. As we frequently gardened without volunteers there, and it was smaller than Monroe, we often felt that Alpine was our sanctuary garden. It provided a place of peace and re-creation. We wish to thank once again, the Garden Club, the Alpine Community Center, all the granting agencies and the dozens of people who gave of their time, money and resources and who helped move the idea from a dream into reality. We couldn't have done it without you.

9.5 weeks after breaking ground

We are very excited about this coming season in Monroe; with  the greenhouse in place we are able to have a continuous supply of starts ready to pop in the ground as space opens up. We're expanding within the fence-line to utilize every available space. We hope to make a shaded area with a picnic table so people can enjoy each other's company while shelling beans, or processing sunflower heads, or whatever other sit-down tasks we can come up with. It's going to be a really nice place to stop by and visit. We hope you will!

14 weeks - 2009

A few specific wish-list items:
  • T-posts or old well-pipe - We need to put up a few more trellises to support tomato cages and beans. Six to eight feet tall would be ideal but we can make the shorter ones work. Slightly bent OK.
  • A T-post puller 
  • Strong wire - also for trellis building. Each row is approximately 70 feet long. 
  • Spoiled hay - we already received a ton and a half of straw from Mark Frystak and the Soggy Bottom Farms. That will probably carry us for another month but when we start to plant tomatoes and squash we'll be in need of another delivery of a couple more tons. Remember, we can give you a tax receipt if you need it.
  • Riding lawn mower with bagger.
Raspberry Bounty!

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