Blue Earth’s green thumbs hopeful

BLUE EARTH – Hope springs eternal and Katy Gonzalez hopes the weather finally warms up so enough seeds can be planted by May 15 in the Blue Earth community garden.

“That is our goal, depending on the weather because everything is getting pushed back,” said Gonzalez, coordinator of Blue Earth Area Mentors.

BEAM has partnered with the Chamber of Commerce to offer the 16-plot garden near the Green Giant statue on Highway 169. It’s for people who would like to grow their own vegetables but don’t have a spot to do it in town.

“It’s open to anyone in the community,” said Gonzalez, who issued a warning not to delay.

“We do have some reserved,” she said.

Those who want to be city farmers can reserve a plot now by calling Gonzalez at (507) 526-5219, or Chamber director Cindy Lyon at (507) 526-2916. Payment will not be due until May 1.

Each 10-by-20-foot plot costs $10 to rent for the summer, and the fee includes fertilizer. Renters can reserve more than one plot but will be required to sign a contract stating they will maintain and weed their plots.

“Every once in a while, we go around to make sure the weeds are in check or refill the rain barrels,” Gonzalez said.

BEAM and the Chamber will mow the grass surrounding the area and provide rain barrels. Gardeners can use the milk jugs provided or bring their own cans to scoop out water for their plants.

Illegal plants will not be allowed, but gardeners can plant whatever vegetable or flower they like, as long as they are considerate.

“They usually do a really good job with vining plants; we haven’t had a problem before,” Gonzalez said. “If it would go into someone else’s plot, you’d have to work out an agreement [or tie up the plant].”

Access to the plots won’t be a problem, Gonzalez said.

“There is a fence around the garden to keep animals out, but it’s not locked,” she said.

While waiting for the weather, she continues to plan.

“We’re looking for a couple more rain barrels and donations of fertilizer,” Gonzalez said