FORT BRAGG 6/6/22 – Gardeners mostly wish for rain. But organizers of the grand opening of South Lincoln Street Community Garden, the new garden adjacent to Fort Bragg’s CV Starr Community Center, were thankful to Mother Nature that Saturday’s forecast rain waited for attendees to get a chance for music, healthy treats, had games and activities and even a few speeches. The garden opened for planting in December – but the grand opening was saved for Saturday, when the plants would be in place and the rains would theoretically be over for the year.
Shortly after the event ended, the rain started to bless the vegetables and flowers that parishioners began planting in each plot. The rain break was one of the few challenges that the young garden avoided. The garden survived pandemic restrictions, drought issues, and the need for many hands and knees and volunteer shoveling to get fluffy and full.
“I was floored when I saw that they actually did it,” said Tess Albin-Smith, Fort Bragg City Councilwoman. “It’s one thing to talk about a project like this and quite another to go ahead and see it through. That’s great!”
Activist George Reinhardt sang his garden song, one of two musicians who entertained the crowd of thirty to forty people. “When I think about how things are in the US right now, it’s local efforts like this that will get us out of the mess we’re in and give us great food,” Reinhardt told the crowd.
Garden plots ranged from just sprouting to full. The two beds, designed to be accessible under the Americans with Disabilities Act, flourished, the work of four qualified gardeners. In addition to the ADA lots, there are 23 regular lots, each 50 square feet. All but four were planted by community members. These four are seeded with buckwheat intended as a compost plant. A new greenhouse was on display, as were the water tanks, shed, compost area and the garden itself.
Plots cost $25 per year, along with a voluntary commitment to help with other efforts. Lots are available on a first-come, first-served basis, although no ADA-accessible lots remain. Those looking for a plot are encouraged to get in touch with the garden.
Jaime Jensen, current President of the Garden Friendly Community Fort Bragg (GFCFB), provided an update on the garden. Matt Drewno, a member of the Advisory Board and another key player in the effort, thanked the Mendocino Coast Children’s Fund, which operates as a not-for-profit umbrella organization that allows the GFCFB to accept tax-deductible donations. Members of the Fort Bragg Food Bank, Bee Bold, Conservation Works, Noyo Food Forest, Sakina’s Starts, Fort Bragg Garden Club and the City of Fort Bragg all came to unveil the South Lincoln Street Community Garden for the Garden Friendly Community Fort Bragg.
More gardens are planned, the next in line next to Thanksgiving Coffee in Noyo Harbor, a lot blessed with fruit trees and with parking problems.
Volunteers are needed for a variety of tasks. To help, email the garden manager at [email protected]; You can also find more information on the garden website here.
This is the first garden created by GFCFB. Located on the south side of the CV Starr Center, it consists of sod beds, raised beds (wheelchair accessible), city water, a hoop house, tool shed, pollinator garden areas, fruit trees, and on-site parking at the CV Starr Center. The garden is completely fenced with deer.
Construction of South Lincoln Garden began in February 2021.
See our previous coverage here: