Vineyard enlarges community garden, plans for more
A handful of committed gardeners, in a collaboration between Vineyard and essential partners, are opening a second community garden this week.
Vineyard’s Sunset Beach Community Garden, located across 300 West from Sunset Beach Park in Vineyard, will contain twenty boxes, bringing Vineyard’s Community Garden total to 42. Vineyard City officials were able to plan for the new garden location after being given a grant from Get Healthy Utah.
“The community garden is part of the Vineyard agriculture visioning plan for the community, which bolsters wellness in the community. It has been a shared effort between residents, our universities, hospitals and private partners,” Mayor Julie Fullmer said. “The program has been gaining momentum and building community. Vineyard has seen an increase each year in participation. We are entering our third gardening season and each year we have been able to double the amount of boxes we are able to offer to residents.”
The community garden committee recently held its lottery for participants in the 2023 growing season. The committee received more than 65 applications for the garden spots. Several Vineyard residents also have boxes on the grounds of Orem Community Hospital in their garden, which has served as a model for Vineyard’s program.
“The community garden staff at Orem Community Hospital has been integral in the development of our gardens,” Fullmer said. “They have been essential mentors, giving us donations to jump start our program, providing signage including markers for each garden box and sending their administration to help us clean out boxes at the end of last season.”
The Community Garden program began in 2020 with a seed exchange in the city offices and a Gardening in Vineyard Facebook Group, started by Amber Rasmussen, a member of the Vineyard City Council.
“In our first year, 2021, we were able to offer ten boxes, and they were crafted by our City Arborist George Schramm out of reclaimed fencing. Each year we have doubled in size, and enlisted the help of additional volunteers in our community,” Fullmer said. “Vineyard resident Andrea Jones built a produce sharing stand in 2022 to enable gardeners from the community garden and throughout the city to have a space to leave their excess bounty for those in need of fresh produce.”
Vineyard’s Community Garden committee has planned a series of summer classes for anyone attend. Classes will cover square-foot gardening, self-wicking container gardening, cooking and preserving your harvest, identifying and treating pests and bokashi composting.
The classes are held typically on the first and third Mondays of each month at 7 p.m. at the Gammon Park Pavilion through the summer.
Those using garden boxes are encouraged to maintain their boxes and the areas surrounding their boxes, share their excess and use bee-friendly products.
Each garden location also hosts a pollinator garden box to encourage native bees. The expansion at Sunset Beach Park also has eight raised garden beds for those who need an adaptive space for gardening.
Community Garden Director Brittnee Voorheis held an orientation meeting for lottery winners Monday night, instructing them on garden procedures and policies, answering questions and encouraging them to develop a love and passion for gardening.
Voorheis hopes to pair those new to gardening with experienced mentors and master gardeners who can be a resource in answering questions and providing solutions with common gardening issues.
Anyone seeking more information can follow the garden’s Facebook page, Vineyard Community Garden, or email the garden committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.