MARQUETTE - With a winter storm warning in effect for today, spring may not be in the air but it's certainly on the minds of many area residents.
That means the beginning of growing season in the Marquette area - even if that season is beginning in people's basements with plastic trays and growing lights. The following is a list of local community gardens for those who don't have the space to start their own backyard garden.
Marquette Community Gardens members work prepare the beds in the Park Cemetery garden last spring. Several communities in the area are getting ready for this year’s gardening season, with many having plots available. (Photo by Ellen Weingarten)
With its first year of operation come and gone, Chocolay Township's community garden organizers are hoping to see some new faces among the plots this year.
"We still have some beds open this year," said Tina Hall, vice president of the garden's board. "It would be great to get some new gardeners."
Hall said the garden was a big success last year, even donating 30 pounds of produce to a local food pantry.
The cost for a bed is dependent on size: $15 for a 5-by-10 foot plot and $25 for a 5-by-16 foot plot. Only organic fertilizers are allowed and participation is open to anyone, not just Chocolay Township residents.
Anyone interested in an open bed can sign up online at www.chocolaytownship.org. Payments are accepted at the Chocolay Township Hall.
Grace Community Garden is located on the corner of First and Euclid streets in Ishpeming and is open to any resident of Marquette County.
"We're still figuring things out but we've had success so far," organizer Evan David said. "I think everybody who has participated has been happy with the results. We've gotten a lot of produce."
The Ishpeming garden, run partially through a grant provided by the Marquette County Health Department and located on land donated by Grace Episcopal Church, is looking to upgrade its infrastructure this year.
David said new fencing and a better watering system could be in the works over the summer.
Beds cost $20 and organic fertilizers are encouraged.
Anyone interested in an open bed can sign up by emailing David at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The K.I. Sawyer Community Garden is located between K.I. Sawyer Elementary School and Little Trout Lake, on Scorpion Street.
Anyone interested in renting a bed can email email@example.com.
The Marquette Community Gardens has two locations: one next to the Fit Strip and one at Presque Isle Park. The gardens have been running since 2003.
Beds cost between $15-$25 and are open to Marquette residents only. The plots typically fill up fast and a waiting list is not unusual. For more information on renting a bed, email garden organizers at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jackie Stark can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242.