Putting down stakes for community gardening | News, Sports, Jobs

New Ulm Community Garden Treasurer Craig Sievert puts down stakes as the garden gets ready for the spring planting season. Sievert gardens himself, saying he enjoys the peaceful solitude it can bring.

NEW ULM — For those in New Ulm with green thumbs, the Community Garden at 1915 South Valley Street is getting ready for another year of growth.

Treasurer Craig Sievert said the tilling process has just finished for the spring, which they are only able to do once it dries up and is close enough to planting season. He said this year they were able to get everything set up right on schedule.

“A couple of weeks ago would’ve been too early to till it,” Sievert said. “It was really quite wet. Then it’s when it looks like the ground is dry enough [we’ll till].”

Currently, 35 individuals or families have plots in the garden. Sievert said there are spaces still open, with a size of roughly four by 20 per plot. Right now, only onions, potatoes, and radishes are suitable for planting.

Sievert said other plants will be suitable after the last frost, including tomatoes, cucumbers, kohlrabi, and cabbage. There are plants not allowed, such as raspberries and perennials, because they come back year after year. Of the plants allowed, he said tomatoes, peppers, and kohlrabi are the most popular.

New Ulm Community Garden Treasurer Craig Sievert shows off the many plots the garden has. There are currently 35 plots used by individuals and families, with several openings available.

As for his section, Sievert said this year he will be planting Big Boy, Better Boy, Roma, and Cherry tomatoes. He will also have a sampling of peppers, including pueblo, jalapeno, and standard green varieties.

With the gardening season approaching, Sievert said he is looking forward to meeting engaged and community-driven gardeners.

“We always like gardeners who are engaged,” he said. “Fitting the community aspect of enjoying being out here and being around people. Getting to know their neighbors in the garden, I think that’s great.”

With the garden available for community members, Sievert said he has seen an impact on many people who don’t have the space themselves and want to boost their food offerings.

“I think it’s people who like to garden but don’t have the space,” he said. “People who haven’t gardened before like to try and it gives them a chance to try and supplement their groceries with fresh fruits and vegetables.”

For Sievert, it’s the act of gardening itself he enjoys the most.

“I like gardening. I like spending time out here. It’s the solitude of gardening, it’s peaceful.”

For more information, visit http://puttinggreen.org/

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