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Syar Industries, Inc. donates $5000.00 to City of Healdsburg for community garden


Just days ahead of National Garden Week, June 6-12, the City of Healdsburg is debuting a new community garden. Windsor's new community garden also is in the throes of spring planting.

syar industries  Jared Paulson
"It has been really difficult. Every time we want to schedule soil or mulch, it rains," said Thomas Eddy as he paused Friday while working in Windsor's Town Green Community Garden, located next to Town Hall.

"We've made a lot of progress in the last two months. The plots are pretty much planted," said Eddy, a landscaper and president of the Windsor Garden Club. "Every time it warms up, it just bursts," he said of the planting.

Slightly less than half the garden's 80 plots have been readied. The families and individuals who have rented spots have sowed a cornucopia that includes eggplant, squash, tomatoes, beans, carrots, corn, watermelon, canteloupe and peppers.

Already kale, lettuce and Swiss chard have been harvested. Next up are radishes. A Gravenstein apple tree and citrus tree also are planned.

Most of the gardeners are motivated by the satisfaction of growing their own veggies, but some want to contribute the produce to food pantries for needy families.

For many, it's their first chance to get garden dirt under their fingernails, especially the people who live in the nearby Town Green Village.

"A lot of renters never had a garden before. They're using it as an education -- to show their kids how to grow a garden," said Dustin Carver, a garden volunteer and engineering manager who helped secure some of the solar panels that run the irrigation system.

Community gardens have multiplied in recent years. They are considered a way to produce nutritious food, stretch grocery budgets, cut the distance that food travels from farm to plate and reduce greenhouse gases. They also are seen as a way to build social interaction.

The Windsor Town Council allocated $15,000 in redevelopment funds last year for the 5,000-square-foot garden. But backers say donations are still needed to help subsidize the cost of planter boxes and other materials.

For the past decade, Healdsburg's community garden at Badger Park has had a waiting list.

"It's wildly popular. Once people move in, they don't tend to give up their spot," said Matthew Thompson, Healdsburg's park superintendent.

But wanna-be gardeners will find it easier to test their green thumbs now that the city has added a second garden at the Healdsburg Community Center, formerly Foss Creek Elementary School.

It's about 50 yards south of an after-school and demonstration garden used for classes at the Community Center.

On Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., a grand opening will be held for the new garden, which has about 20 plots, half of which have been planted.

The garden occupies a sunny space between Healdsburg Avenue and a basketball court. It was made possible by more than $14,000 in donations from citizens, businesses and other groups.

The largest donation, $5,000, came from Syar Industries, a rock and gravel mining company.

"It's been a real community project. Everyone has really come forward on this one," said Healdsburg Assistant City Manager David Mickaelian.

A 10-by-12-foot plot rents for $75 a year. In exchange, gardeners get a key to the fenced garden, a shared shed and irrigation water.

Garden plots are available by calling 431-3318.

More information on the Windsor Town Green Community Garden can be obtained at 838-5947 or www.telcs.com/cgarden.

You can reach Staff Writer Clark Mason at 521-5214 or clark.mason@

pressdemocrat.com.


By CLARK MASON
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Published: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 at 4:02 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 at 4:02 a.m.

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