There is never an off-season for Mason community gardeners

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Walking pathway for the garden

It’s never too late in the year to take care of your garden. As harvesting season comes to its end during October, there is plenty of work to do for the next season.

Marsha Erics says she’s been gardening at the Mason Community Garden for the past year. “Growing food for the home and food bank is convenient,” she says. 

Erics said food grown in the garden is great for the community because it’s being sent to homes and food banks. The garden is all organic.

She said the garden allows residents to rent space for $20 per growing season. The flowers bordering the gate of the garden show the prettiness of it all, she noted.

Denise McDonald was gardening on the opposite end of the garden and she also has been in the garden for a year.

She said “Seeds come from a Lansing garden. The garden also works with Lansing agricultural gardens. We get our plants from there at the beginning of the season and plant them here.”

McDonald lists many plants in the garden including tomatoes, squash and carrots, as well as herbs such as basil, sage, parsley and more. She also says the garden is all organic adding that the gardeners use composting techniques.

She said “The herb garden is accessible to all gardeners. It’s located in the far-back left corner past the animal trap.”

Now that the seasons are changing, the garden has to change too.

“Gardeners would have to use hay straws and cardboard to … cover up the planting grounds for the upcoming weather. They lay down the cardboard first and then place hay on top,” Erics also said.

She said, “We use cardboard and hay straw to cover the planting grounds for the autumn to the winter season. This prevents weeds from growing in place of crops.”

Crystal Noecker, co-president of the garden, joined in 2015 and said it was started 10-12 years ago “as a good thing for people that had property could garden and raise food for the food bank.”

She reiterated that the garden uses no pesticides and uses live traps critters such as raccoons and squirrels, which eat the crops.

Noecker also said the food bank received up to 800 pounds of crops from the Mason Community Garden. 

She said, “When we had excess tomatoes I dropped off tomatoes to the police stations and local stores that would use them.”

Residents can reach out for information a Mason Community Garden.

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