The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

May 13, 2013

Growing Together

Samantha Pidde Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald

---- — CLINTON — Apartment dwellers and those with small yards can still rent plots in Clinton’s community garden.

The community garden, located at the corner of 13th Avenue North and North 14th Street, was tilled Wednesday for the planting season. Kelli Jahn, the youth and family educator for the Iowa State University extension and outreach office, said the community garden was started by the ISU Extension, Sisters of St. Francis and the Clinton Recreation Department to bring area gardeners together and promote good nutrition.

”As long as they are available, any one citizen can rent as many plots as they would like,” Jahn said.

The rental fee is $25 for the first plot and $10 for each additional plot. Jahn said any return gardeners who properly maintained their plots last year will receive a $10 discount. A few plots remain and can be rented through the Ericksen Community Center, 1401 11th Ave. North.

Financial assistance and scholarships also are available.

Crops range from tomatoes, peppers, squash and herbs. Jahn said last year one person planted corn. The garden is organic and does not allow pesticides or other harmful chemicals. Organic fertilizers can be used.

”Anything natural; anything organic is allowed here,” Jahn said.

Jahn has six plots that she uses for education. The children participating in the the Ericksen Center’s summer camp maintain these plots. Last year she planted perennials in one plot for a butterfly garden that will be featured this year. Her educational programming will feature a pizza garden and a salsa garden where the children will grow ingredients for zucchini bread.

Not all of the crops grown will be eaten by the campers. Jahn said some of it will be given to the Victory Center or the local food pantries.

“They get to learn and they also get to provide a community service,” Jahn said.

Area eagle scouts are building the sign and raised beds for the garden. Students in 4H have built benches for the area. The garden also will have a water tank, which Jahn said the city will fill.