Warm up Your Green Thumb: Plan a Community Garden Plot Now

Community gardens fill up fast, so act now to reserve your spot

James Johonnott, photos by Andrea Paulseth

Looking to dig in the dirt and grow your own food this year? Do you yearn for more yard space than you have? Community gardens are a convenient answer for the green thumb with A square footage limitation. It’s never too early to start looking ahead to your nearest garden and take note of their upcoming sign-up deadlines. To help, we’ve listed a selection of local gardens. Find one near you and head to eauclairecommunitygardens.com to find important sign-up information, deadlines, fees, and contact information.

Chippewa County Community Gardens • (715) 726-7950, ext. 5 • fyi.uwex.edu Presented by Chippewa Falls Parks, Recreation, and Forestry and UW-Extension Chippewa County. Bloomer, Chippewa Falls, and New Auburn each provide unique gardening experiences for the garden enthusiast. See contact info for details.

Demmler Community Garden • laurajlash@gmail.com • thirdward.org Plots can be rented, and a communal garden is also available to those who wish to garden but will not be renting a plot. All plot holders are greatly encouraged to (and many do) donate some of their produce to the hungry at the Community Table.

Forest Street Community Garden • (715) 495-2451 • eauclairecommunitygarden@gmail.com • eauclairecommunitygardens.com Featuring shared and individual garden plot options. Sixty gardeners garden together and put in volunteer hours in the shared plot. There are 50 rental plots in the individual garden. Shared garden: $20 for individuals or $30 for a family. Individual garden plots: $35 single plots, $60 double plots. Extra produce is regularly donated to the Community Table.

Jeffers Road Community Garden • elasaive@gmail.com • eauclaire.uwex.edu The Eau Claire County extension office offers garden plots for rent plus a small 8’x12’ greenhouse for seedlings in the spring and to extend the growing season with cold crops in the fall. Garden plots measure 20’x45’ and will cost $35 per plot. Greenhouse space available for up to 20 individuals. Go online for the full details.

Kids Gardens: North Riverfronts Neighborhood Park & McDonough Park • (715) 839-4712 • eauclairecommunitygardens.com The County Extension office sponsors a free kids’ garden for all school-aged children during the summer months. Community Youth Gardens are located at McDonough Park and North River Front Park. This program has many partners such as the SNAP Educators (formerly known as Wisconsin Nutrition Educators), Master Gardener Volunteers, local greenhouses, and local youth organizations.

Lakeshore Park Community Garden • (715) 833-0550 • hsmiar@yahoo.com • eauclairecommunitygardens.com Located near the pavilion, 14-16 15’x15’ plots are available and cost $25 (reduced rates available for low-income individuals and families). Water hookup and hoses available. Lakeshore Park Garden is operated by the Historic Randall Park Neighborhood Association. Plot renters are encouraged to donate some of their produce to the Community Table.

Menomonie Community Garden 2500 9th Street East, Menomonie • (715) 232-1328 • MenomonieCommunityGardens.com Each plot measures 20’x25’. Half plots are $15, one plot is $25, two is $50, three is $75, four is $100. Raised beds also available.

South Side Community Garden On Hester Street south of South Middle School, Eau Claire • southsidegardenec@gmail.com • eauclairecommunitygardens.com This garden features at least 24 plots. Plots are 10’x20’ for $25 or 20’x20’ $35. Water on-site with hoses to share. Garden will be enclosed with a nine foot deer fence.