Happy Holidays to all our gardeners and friends.
Your Garden Management Team hopes that this time of year brings you happiness and the joy of the season in our beautiful garden.
We celebrate Garden Year Two, an accomplishment given all that has happened in our world these past two years.
2021 was a year of change and growth in the garden. While getting together in the garden this year was curtailed, many things were happening behind the scenes.
Your Garden Management Team continued with monthly meetings by Zoom working with FVT management and Ryan Construction to grow the garden by twelve new raised bed plots. This project turned out to be larger than we anticipated. Ryan construction took care of the addition of new irrigation and procuring lumber for the plots and building the plots.
The Garden Management Team took on the job of procuring new soil for the additional plots and for replenishing our original 55 plots. Soil procurement was a challenge. We realized the soil used in year one was not of the quality we had expected, so we reached out to various sources both here in the valley and up in Show Low. Acquisition was slow due to struggles with getting truck drivers and ensuring the soil met our requirements. New soil was additionally amended with pelletized chicken manure.
By far the biggest challenge we faced was the labor to remove all soil from existing beds, mix the various new soils and fertilizer using the Kubota tractor and then refilling all beds. After trying to find contractors to handle the soil, and not succeeding, the ground crew at FVT pitched in and unloaded and reloaded all of our plots. We are very, very grateful to them.
At the same time, a new Communal inground planting bed was built. This is a bed for all to enjoy and use. To start it has been planted with a selection of plants with the hope that as times goes on volunteers will support the Communal bed with more planting and care.
The new garden year kicked off with a Meet and Greet in early October and there have been several educational sessions held with all gardeners invited.
The large mural wall seen as you enter the garden from the east is ready for art. The Garden Management Team is inviting interested Artists to contact us so that you may be included in the Art in the Garden Committee who will solicit and approve mural proposals. Other forms of Art in the Garden would be wonderful, and we solicit your input for this as well. Also, a new sign for our garden is being manufactured and should be ready in January.
You may have noticed that the remaining wall sections have been re-stuccoed and will be painted in the next several weeks. A section of this part of the wall is also finished smoothly in order to be a second Art Wall.
As we continue to grow, we want to offer more social and educational activities in the garden. To that end two shade structures are in process. A 12×14 shade structure adjacent to the rose garden has been designed and is waiting for Tempe planning approval. A second shade pavilion, 16×20 in size, is planned adjacent to the west shed in the middle of the garden. Preliminary design has been done and will be sent for architectural drawings. Following that we will have selected contractors bid on the project with completion possible before summer.
In spring 2022 we will be planting a small orchard to the east of the communal garden, probably 10-12 trees. Also, between the communal garden and the orchard, a meditation garden with an arbor and hummingbird/butterfly planting will be an additional area for all to linger in and enjoy.
The memorial rose garden has proved to be very popular. All roses in beds one and two have been sold. Additional roses will be available in bed three in January/February.
The garden is flourishing, tomatoes, kale, fall root vegetables, sunflowers, artichokes, salad vegetables and more are growing robustly. Gardeners and visitors are always out and about enjoying the beautiful growth and roses. It is truly a joy to be able to participate in our garden.
If you would like to learn more about volunteer activities in the garden, or, want to plan and sponsor a garden event please contact the Garden Board through the website.
Wishing all of you and yours a very Happy New Year.
We would like to welcome Sean Hitch as our new garden coordinator. He will be present in the garden Tuesday to Saturday from 9am to 1pm. Stop by and ask him questions about your garden or for tips and tricks to get your plants growing big!
Our first education session was a success with 11 gardeners attending. Each gardener received written instructions and diagrams of the building process and has the opportunity to help put a frame together in one of the plots. Stop by our garden to see the new shade structures going up each week!
The Garden Team has separated our Educational sessions from our Meet and Greet sessions. Meet and Greet will be held the FOURTH Saturday of the month. Educational sessions will be held the SECOND Saturday of the month. This is an update from the previous Villager article. A Garden Calendar is going to be placed under the Community Garden button in Resident Apps.
The Garden Management Team is busy organizing monthly Coffee in the Garden sessions with educational content. Our first Meet and Greet session went very well with good attendance and lots of enthusiasm.
The second Saturday of every month at 8:30 we will schedule the Coffee in the Garden Sessions. In November (Saturday the 13 th ) the topic will be ‘Building a Plot Shade/Frost Structure from PVC”. Doug Hobson will be presenting at this session and will discuss the availability of a tool kit to help you build your structure.
Hope to see you there.
Our Community Garden is filled with beautiful memorial roses, so much so that not one is left to adopt at this time. If you have not been down to the garden, stop by to see them coming back from a long, hot summer and in full bloom. The good news is that in January the third rose bed will open with about 10 new roses available for adoption. The 2022 cost will rise to $75 due to rising prices and the cost of perpetual maintenance. For each rose adoption, a custom plaque will be engraved with “In Memory Of” or “In Honor Of” your loved ones’ name. If you wish to purchase a rose, you may do so in December. Contact us using the email: FECgarden@gmail.com for a rose donation form.
It’s a wonderful time to plant your garden plot. For extra help, Sean Hitch has been hired to be our garden coordinator. He is in the garden Tues. – Sat. 7 am – 11 am. to answer your questions or help you get started. The soil is ready to use – no need to add anything to it.
Below is only a partial list of what I have put in my garden. If I plant from seed, I’ve noted that. Otherwise, I buy starter plants at local nurseries.
Bush beans – seed
Carrots – seed
Chard, ruby red – seed
Flowers – wildflowers from seed
Kale – seed
Mixed greens – seed
Spinach – seed
Sugar snap peas – seed, but you will need a trellis for them to climb
Tomato – my favorite is Roma or any of the patio, cherry tomatoes
If you have questions, please email FECgarden@gmail.com and we can help you!
It is finally Fall and the new garden season is upon us. We have 67 plots this year and room for more
gardeners. On Oct 1 you may begin working your plot. All plots have new, fresh soil and are ready for
This year we will have Learn in the Garden sessions that will cover a variety of topics. We will be looking
for Artists interested in Art in the Garden, including a large Mural Wall.
A new Garden Coordinator has been hired by Friendship Village. Sean Hitch will be in the garden Mon-
Fri, 7-11 to answer questions and assist gardeners. In December we will be opening a third Memorial
Rose Bed for those interested in a memorial rose.
Two shade structures are in the works. The first will be located in the rose garden and the second mid-
garden near the communal shed. New garden benches will be installed throughout the garden this year.
On October 23 (Saturday) T 8:30am a garden opening Coffee ‘Meet and Greet’ will be held. All are
welcome to visit the garden. Family and friends are welcome.
If you are a new gardener and wish to join and are not yet on the waiting list, please contact Sandy
Reinhardt (firstname.lastname@example.org). The annual fee of $100 is the lowest of all the community gardens in town.
If you haven’t gotten around to paying your fee, please do as soon as possible so you don’t miss out on
the fun in the garden.
Looking forward to seeing you in the garden…
Work is under way on the 12 new plots, bringing out total to 67 plots this year. Soil is being delivered to refurbish the existing plots. The future artists wall has been refinished ready for artwork later this fall. And, the third rose bed has pumpkins planted for fall before being used for roses in January. Don’t forget to come check out our new community plot that is under construction too. Stay tuned for more details on further development of community gathering spaces around the garden.
As our inaugural growing season comes to a close, the garden is alive with activity. The Artist wall that will feature artwork by community artists has been refurbished! In addition, work has begun on adding 12 new garden beds for the next growing season, as well as soil remediation to provide more nutrients in the existing 55 plots. The third rose garden bed is nearing completion, and plans are being finalized for a shade structure to provide a gathering place for gardeners and the community. Come by the garden to check out all our progress!