Last fall and late summer, volunteers spent hours screwing boards together into beds, stapling landscape fabric to the bottom of the beds and filling the beds with dirt. Now, the first season of using the new community garden located off Larch Street is about to begin.

So far, just eight beds have been reserved out of the 24 in the garden by individuals, the local 4-H and local church, said Blythe Brown, a project coordinator for the Kodiak Soil and Water Conservation District, which manages the garden.

She said the language on the gardening agreement can sound intimidating to people at first because of the rules around land use, but it all comes down to, “We’re all neighbors, don’t pick your neighbor’s vegetables, pick up after yourself, things like that,” Brown said.

Garden users are allowed to put small hoop houses over the top of the beds, but nothing that protrudes more than five feet above the ground, Brown said. That’s because of the planes taking off and landing at Lily Lake.

More work parties at the garden will happen in the future. The next one will be a sawdust party.

In between all the beds, material has been laid down to inhibit weed growth, and that all needs to be covered with several inches of sawdust. A local mill offered the sawdust from their operations, and a future work party will be organized to haul truckloads of the sawdust to the gardens and spread it out, Brown said.

Some Kodiak High School students have collected and dumped a couple buckets of seaweed in each bed, but prospective gardeners will need to add more to their beds.

“I would recommend that people come and start adding some more whatever they want to add to it,” Brown said. “We did start with native Kodiak dirt so it does need stuff added to the soil.”

Other needs at the garden are a watering system and a fence to keep out animals. Both of those will have to wait until more funding is acquired, Brown said.

“We hope to set up a temporary water container of some sort that would either collect rain water or fill it from something else,” Brown said. “That would work until we actually can get a water line put in.”

Gardeners interested in using a bed should contact the KSWCD at 486-5574.

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