In just a couple hours, the volunteers had screwed together pre-cut pieces of wood into 24 12-foot by 4-foot beds.
Then, a piece of lining was stapled to the bottom and the beds were set into rows.
Other volunteers staked out an area for the beds to be in, trying to get the beds lined up so the rows were evenly spaced apart in straight lines.
“Squaring is hard,” said Dana Myers, a gardener who volunteered to help out. “I think our math was a little off at first.”
It took a few tries to get the area square, but by the end, the rows were neat and even.
“I want to help get community gardens going because free food is really vital,” Myers said. She already has a garden of her own.
Next weekend, the dirt will arrive and will be shoveled into the beds. Volunteers will help out with that as well.
After that, people will be allowed to start using the beds. The Kodiak Soil and Water Conservation District, which is managing the garden, hasn’t yet decided how the beds will be assigned, as there are more people who have expressed interest than there are beds.
The consensus among Dave Kaplan, the project coordinator for the district; Marie Rice, a board member; and Corrine Ferre, an employee, was that it would probably be decided with a lottery.
In addition, the district wants to make sure the beds are going to people who don’t have room where they live to garden.
“Obviously, we don’t want to give a bed away to somebody who has a high tunnel already, that doesn’t make sense to me,” Kaplan said.
The board will be deciding soon, because the district is hoping there will be enough time left in the season for a few crops to be grown before winter.
Myers said lettuce, radishes, turnips and kale are all vegetables that could be grown in late summer and early fall, as well as any others that do well in cooler temperatures.
The next hurdle for the gardens is getting water. Ferre said it would cost about $6,000 to bring a water line to the garden area, and she’s not sure when that would end up getting installed. People may have to haul their own water for a while.
“We’ll see what happens, play it by ear,” Ferre said.
Contact Julie Herrmann at email@example.com.