Dodge City Daily Globe - Dodge City, KS
  • Community garden taking applications

  • The Sunflower Community Garden has open plots. Get your hands dirty.
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  • The Sunflower Community Garden has five plots available at each of its two locations for green thumbs, even ones with green horns.
    The community garden provides plots for people who might not have back yards or space in their back yards to till and plant. On top of that, it's a neighborly thing, Daniel Tague, the president of the group said.
    "It's a way to get together; meet the new people. It's kind of like a little community out there," Tague said.
    The gardeners use their toil in the soil also donate produce to Mexican-American Ministries, Manna House and the Friendship Feast.
    Last year, Tague said he was able to donate "hundreds of pounds" of produce, and he maintains three plots, one for each ministry, and grows almost 60 different varieties.
    At the garden at Dodge City Community College, the group has two 12-foot by 20-foot plots, and three 20-foot by 40-foot plots. At the garden on Division Street, five 15-foot by 15-foot plots are available.
    Gardeners pay a nominal fee, $10 for the season to use the smaller plots for the season and a $10 security deposit in case the plot is not maintained to a reusable level by December. The larger plots are $25 for the season and $25 for a deposit.
    Applications can be filled out and fees paid at Nature's Corner at 11192 Kliesen Street.
    Donors have provided compost and straw, some free seeds are available and the city pays for the water.
    It's a good opportunity for neophytes to get involved in gardening, Tague said, though he recommends they take on one of the smaller plots to start. It can be a lot of work. He said gardeners should expect a two to three hour commitment to make sure the plots stay free of weeds and the plants well-irrigated.
    For the beginners with questions, "If we don't have the answer to it we can find the answer," Tague said.
    He recommends new gardeners start out with some of the simpler plants: tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash, radishes, lettuce and spinach among them.
    It's an enjoyable hobby for anyone, said Tague, who has been gardening since he was a kid. Current garden members range from age 22 to 86, and garden members have created a community that watches out for each other's plot.
    Planting started at the Division Street Garden in 2006, and several members have kept plots the entire time, Tague said. Since then the garden has expanded to the college for a total of 146 plots and four raised beds. This year the garden is also starting an orchard with 67 fruit trees.
    For more information, contact Daniel Tague at 620-855-0439.
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