Falmouth Community Garden
The year is 2002. A group of well-intentioned Falmouth citizens discuss a dream. The dream is to establish an organic community garden that provides fresh vegetables to people in need. The idea blossoms and the pieces fall into place. The Falmouth Community Garden is real. Or is it?
Dreams require hard work to become reality. Despite the enthusiasm, those early dreamers must have stared at the site on Gifford Street adjacent to the Falmouth Service Center and mumbled, “What have we gotten ourselves into here?”
The site, about the size of half a football field, was used to store materials and equipment during construction of the Service Center. Turning this weed-infested, clay hard pan, acidic, rocky cover into productive organic-rich soil was their challenge.
The year is the one we are in now and you are taking a short break from your volunteer work at the Service Center. A casual stroll along a brick path brings you to the piles of ingredients that this year’s gardeners are using to condition the soil, control the weeds and improve drainage. You smell horse manure. You pick up a handful of composted soil and let it run through your fingers, noticing a rich organic musk. You watch a gardener doing a strange dance as he shakes a homemade soil screener. Two youngsters are playing with buckets on a sand pile. A hand-lettered sign advertizes Homemade Compost from last year’s vegetative material. An errant wheelbarrow driver grunts an ‘Excuse me” as she slowly pushes her overload along wood-chipped pathways, and delivers it to her neighbor’s plot.
You walk through an open gate, noticing rabbit-control chicken wire stretched along the bottom of the split rail fence that surrounds the garden. Three men are leaning on garden rakes around a post hole debating the best way to deal with high groundwater. You sit down in the grape arbor. What you notice is the rich brown color of the soil as contrasted to the mustard-colored clay you remember from years ago. Sure, the clay is still there if you dig down six inches or so. But substantial progress has been made in meeting the soil challenge thanks to the dedication of the gardeners and help from the town, the business community and AmeriCorps.
On the way out, you stop by a beautiful landscaped butterfly garden. Two children, whose mother you served at the food pantry just before your break, are searching for frogs in a small pool. How fortunate that this community garden is here. The gardeners share one-half of their produce with the food pantry to fulfill a service that the clients need.
Most of the garden work is done by gardeners on their own schedule. But monthly work days are also scheduled for help on general projects. You promise yourself to attend one or two of these sessions.
How do I apply for a plot?
Anyone in the community can apply for a plot in the Community Garden when one is available. Currently, we expect to have a few plots available in the 2017 growing season. If you wish to apply for a plot in 2017, please contact our Garden Coordinator ASAP to let her know or to be put on a waiting list.