GREEN RIVER– The first batch of plants and crops were planted at Wild Sage Garden on Saturday, June 1, kicking off the community garden’s first growing season.
Previous to Saturday’s planting, the gardeners purchased their lots and bales and picked out seeds. Then on Saturday, they planted their gardens with seeds and other plants. One gardener planted a salsa garden, while others planted different foods, and some even planted flowers.
Jennifer Edelmayer, leader of the Wild Sage Garden, said they use straw bales because they act as self composting mediums.
“Instead of building a raised bed and putting things in it, we put about one and half inches of soil on top of the bales with fertilizer and then place the soaking hose back on top. The bale holds the roots system and it’s well draining,” Edelmayer said.
In addition to planting their bales, they also planted more cover crop over top the garden’s ground. Right now, the garden has a layer of clovers as a cover crop.
“Clovers are nitrogen fixing, so they take nitrogen out of the air and puts it back into the soil. We’re covering the rest of the green in a cover crop that will grow 12 to 15 different varieties of nitrogen fixers and phosphorous fixers. Then you leave it and over the winter it will die and basically become a green compost,” Edelmayer said.
Currently, the straw bales are shaped into a mandala, and as people purchase bales, they will be added to the mandala. At the end of the season, the bales will be chopped up and scattered around.
To create a border around the garden, Edelmayer’s dad and uncle hand welded a fence around the garden. Then, Edelmayer and the gardeners will tie CD’s onto fishing line and hang it on the fence to help keep deer out.
“The CD’s will spin and make light and movement so the deer will be less likely to come in. It will be kind of like a garden art, deer deterrent combination,” Edelmayer said.
In addition to planting their bales, the gardeners also planted some shrubs and bushes that were graciously donated by the Riverside Nursery.
Throughout the summer and into the future, Edelmayer and the rest of the crew will be working on adding seating, a fire pit, and some natural wooden patio flooring.
“I want it to be just the most inclusive thing,” Edelmayer said. “A place for the community to come hang out, take senior photos, find some peace, or whatever. Whether you have a plot here or not, everyone is welcome.”