Community gardens change location
Dodge Center’s community gardens are changing locations this year for the first time in 15 years.
Dodge County’s Extension Master Gardeners provide community gardens in Kasson, Dodge Center, and West Concord that are available for people to reserve to have a place to grow a garden. Dodge Center’s gardens have always been located on property by the west Highway 14 exit, formerly owned by Doug and Diane Page, and currently the site of a future restaurant.
The Master Gardeners, under the direction of coordinator June Meitzner, contacted Fairview Nursing Home to inquire about garden space. Administrator Amy Thompson was quick to see that it would be a great partnership between Fairview, owned by the county, and the community gardening program. They welcome community gardeners to their property, and the gardens will be located in an area where residents can observe what’s going on and interact with gardeners.
“We have a walking path around Fairview, so the residents can walk around and see how the gardens are doing,” Thompson said. The Dodge County Commissioners approved the partnership at their April meeting.
May 17 several master gardeners, along with Fairview employees Tony Bauer and Carson Beaver, removed sod from the garden area on the northwest side of the building, with plans for tilling as soon as possible.
Emeritus Master Gardener Marian Kleinwort recalled that she and Seanne Buckwalter were the original managers of the county program. “Some people from Dakota County came down and helped us get started,” Kleinwort said. They originally worked with 4-H and Extension staff. “Bruce Schwartau was the Extension agent — he took us under his wing for a while,” she recalled.
In the beginning there were gardens in Hayfield and Claremont, but they weren’t successful. The Kasson, West Concord and Dodge Center gardens have remained in operation.
According to Aly Laganiere at the county Extension office, there are still plots available in West Concord, Kasson and Dodge Center. The deadline to sign up was the first week in May, but people who are interested in getting a plot should contact Aly at (507) 635-6325 Monday through Thursday to see if there are still plots available. The only cost is a $5 charge to cover costs of tilling and other maintenance.