SCHUYLER – The Schuyler Community Garden is ready to spring to life and its committee members are hosting a planting celebration May 9.
The garden just entered its sixth year and is located at 1922 Colfax St. by the Christ United Methodist Church. Community members are advised to register for a lot before the celebration date. Each lot is 10 ft. by 10 ft. wide and gardeners are free to register for as many as they want.
The plots were measured and divided by students from Schuyler Central High School’s Project S and Schuyler Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapter.
In previous years, each gardener could pick his or her own plot but the Schuyler Community Garden Committee decided to switch it up by drawing the plots instead. The drawing will take place at 5 p.m. at the beginning of the ceremony.
“We thought it would be fairer if we just drew numbers out,” said committee member Sheri Balak, who is also a member of the Christ United Methodist Church.
Starter plants will be available on site for gardeners. At the corners of the garden, the committee will be planting an array of decorative plants and flowers. Herbs will be grown on one of the raised bed gardens.
Gardeners hold the responsibility of maintaining their plots while abiding by the garden’s regulations. They have to weed, water and harvest their own produce, as well as cleaning up at the end of the season. The Committee discourages the use of pesticides.
“We want to make sure that the plot and the paths around the area are kept clean and neat,” Balak said.
On average, there are approximately 12 to 15 gardeners who register a year. The remainder of the 30 available plots the Committee turns it into a community plot for vegetables.
After allocating the lots, gardeners will be given time to begin working their plots. At 6 p.m., there will be a serving of hot dogs and hamburgers.
The garden is sponsored by Christ United Methodist Church, First Presbyterian Church, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) Colfax County Extension, Project S by Schuyler Central High School, and the Schuyler Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapter. All these entities help maintain the garden.
The Committee encourages each gardener to donate at least 25 percent of their excess produce. These products along with the vegetables from the community plots will be donated to various organization and churches throughout the community.
The garden is geared toward three goals. The first goal is to provide community access to healthy and affordable produce, followed by allowing the community to enjoy the rewards of producing their own food. Thirdly, it encourages camaraderie among community members.
The Committee is working on writing grants to extend and improve the garden’s existing waterline.