Truckee Community Garden is reborn with many helping hands | SierraSun.com

Truckee Community Garden is reborn with many helping hands

Melissa SiigSpecial to the Sun

DaphneHougard.com submitted to aedgett@sierrasun.com

TRUCKEE, Calif. andamp;#8212; In the slow food tradition, bring an inspired dish to share, a chair or blanket to celebrate the grand re-opening of the Truckee Community Garden, Saturday, Oct. 16.Hob knob with garden volunteers and businesses that have donated to the rejuvenation of the garden. Learn about community gardening, what you can plant this fall for next year and other tricks of the trade.The Truckee Community Garden was not blossoming. Started in 2000 by Project MANA, by 2009 the beds were deteriorating, part of the fencing had collapsed and only half the irrigation was working. It languished due to neglect.That is until Project MANA volunteer Jane Weeks came along. Answering an ad she for garden volunteers, Weeks, along with a handful of other people, brought the garden back to life in two seasons. This month, the improved and expanded garden will celebrate its grand re-opening, along with recognizing the volunteers who made it all possible.Soon after Weeks came on board, the Truckee Donner Recreation andamp; Parks District, which owns the land, basically told Project MANA it had to get the garden in shape or ship out. Weeks committed herself to the former.andamp;#8220;I took it on like a start up,andamp;#8221; said Weeks, 48, an entrepreneur.Weeks, who grew up gardening in New Hampshire, knew a lot about gardening, but high altitude gardening was a whole other animal.andamp;#8220;High altitude gardening is a double-edged sword,andamp;#8221; she said. andamp;#8220;It’s more challenging.andamp;#8221;Since individually-owned beds were often abandoned, Weeks decided to grow crops. The decision was made to treat the garden like a community supported agriculture (CSA): Paying working members would get a share of the garden’s vegetables. Weeks, with three volunteers and Project MANA Truckee Program Director Kaili Sanchez, began the garden’s transformation. The garden was bulldozed. Wood from the old beds was reclaimed to build new uniformly sized beds that were painted a bright blue. A brand new fence was erected with help from Jimmy of Truckee Fence and community volunteers. And in what Weeks calls andamp;#8220;a year of experimentation,andamp;#8221; the volunteers planted broccoli, cabbage, garlic, onions, potatoes, asparagus, carrots, radishes, peppers and beans to see what would grow best. Broccoli and cabbage grew well, but get eaten by garden critters. By contrast, zucchini, squash, lettuce and turnips did great. And due to good weather, the tomatoes also flourished.Weeks and the other volunteers were so dedicated they formed the Frost Patrol. A volunteer was assigned to each day of the week. On cold nights or mornings it was their job to run to the garden to cover the crops.For all the time and energy Weeks put into the garden over the past two summers, she was named Project MANA’s Truckee Volunteer of the Year for 2010. Weeks hopes the garden will become a gathering place for the community.andamp;#8220;It creates a meeting place, a hub, for people of all walks of life,andamp;#8221; she said.The public is invited to attend the garden’s grand re-opening on Saturday, Oct. 16 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event is also Slow Food Lake Tahoe’s fall potluck; bring a seasonal dish to share.The Truckee Community Garden is located in the Truckee Regional Park. For more information, contact Kaili Sanchez at 530-582-4079. Visit facebook.com/truckeegardenandamp;#8212; Melissa Siig is the Slow Food Lake Tahoe Communications Chair. Submitted to aedgett@sierrasun.com

Grand re-opening of the Truckee Community GardenAcoustic music, andamp;#8220;to die for foodandamp;#8221; and amazing companySaturday, Oct. 16, 10 a.m., Truckee Community GardenTruckee River Regional park, use rodeo entrance, behind the playground and the base ball fields