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The first year of Farmington's community garden was a success.

Harvest time at the community garden

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news Farmington, 55024
Farmington Independent
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Farmington Minnesota P.O. Box 192 / 312 Oak St. 55024

This is the time of the year when gardeners begin to admit defeat. Seeds planted in the spring have grown into plants, produced flowers or vegetables. And now, most are starting to whither and die off.

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That's what is happening at the community garden behind Meadowview Elementary School. As the days grow shorter, the sections of the garden are coming to an end. And that's okay, because next year's garden will be twice the size, and, organizers hope, just as successful.

Farmington Community Education adult enrichment class coordinator Barb Pierce was pretty happy with the way the community's first garden went this year. It helped that there was plenty of good rain to keep things growing.

A total of 10 plots were available in this year's garden. Of those, nine were rented out by gardeners from around Farmington. Produce from the tenth was harvested and donated to the Farmington Food Shelf.

"As far as I heard, people were happy with their plot and they got a lot of vegetables until the tornado hit," Pierce said. "A lot of tomato plants and corn plants got damaged by the tornado. The corn plants just got yanked out of the ground."

Still, there was plenty of interest in the garden. Those who rented plots took good care of them, and lots of people showed up to help maintain the food shelf's plot.

Students enrolled in Kid Connection at MVES got to learn a little about garden care, as they went out a few times to do some of the weeding in that plot.

These days, the garden is pretty bare, with the exception of a few fall vegetables like potatoes and squash. Chances are most of those will be harvested by the end of this week.

Because the project was deemed a success, Pierce said next season's garden will likely double in size. Community education will have more information on next year's garden at the Community Expo, scheduled for Jan. 29.

"It was interesting to see the different garden configurations," Pierce said. "With all the rain we had this year, everything just grew wonderfully. I think it was a great community project. We especially like the connection with the food shelf."

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Michelle Leonard
Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and is the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 
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