April starts the early spring planting season


By Conelia Dixon - Contributing columnist



Michelle Stephenson gets ready for a productive work day at the People’s Garden.

Michelle Stephenson gets ready for a productive work day at the People’s Garden.


Several volunteers get to work on the raised beds at the People’s Garden during a work day.


Hello, Sidney/Shelby County area! Have you thought about your garden yet?

At The People’s Garden we think about it all year long — yes, even in winter! We have been planning, building new beds, organizing the crops to be planted this season, thinking about what kinds of things we want to present as garden education for you (beginners and skilled gardeners), and gathering materials for this new season. We have materials to build more metal beds right now, new onions and grass seed to plant, and many seeds to offer you if you want to rent a garden bed for the season. You would not believe the things we talk about and plan for! We have generous people in the community who help us by starting seeds in the very early spring. We already have many hot peppers, tomatoes, leeks, and some squash plants started by friends of the garden who act as foster parents for the new plants. As soon as it quits snowing we will plant spinach, peas, turnips and onions. Come visit the garden and find out how beautiful and valuable it is to the pantry shoppers, the gardeners, our friends and the community as a whole. Connect with our Facebook page and see updates about things that are going on. A work day has been planned for April 24, from 10 a.m. to noon. Anyone is welcome to come help and enjoy the garden. COVID-19 suggestions about social distancing and masks are in place.

Thanks to the Legion Baseball organization here in Sidney, we have two brand new mowers, a John Deere zero-turn riding mower and a Honda self-propelled push mower. Michelle and I can’t wait to try them out, very soon. We have been talking about our season opening, and have planned what we want to plant in each of the 54 garden beds we take care of. We think about what the pantry shoppers like, what crops the animals don’t eat, companion planting, succession planting, what crops were grown in each bed the year before, what flowers to plant with which crops, and we also think about our bird houses and the pollinator plants. We need the birds and bees, and other insects to help pollinate and work together to protect the vegetables. Kendra is planning to have a beautiful herb garden this year too. Come and enjoy.

Volunteers have been calling, emailing and offering some help even more this early season. This community is very generous and there are people who just want to help others. You can do this too by offering a little time each week to come and help weed, build, plant, pick up sticks, stir the compost and other jobs. We have an up-to-date job list posted on the porch of The Learning Center (our heated/air conditioned building) so you can see what needs to be done and pick a job suited to your abilities. We really appreciate all you do.

We receive many donations from Agape, people who care, businesses in the area and volunteers. We use everything we receive. Our policies of no waste, use of free materials, no poisonous chemicals, hard work and planning pay off in hundreds of pounds of produce for the pantry shoppers, who are so very thankful.

At this time, since we have tools, equipment, and now two new beautiful mowers to store, we are asking businesses and individuals in the community for help in purchasing a small barn to store all these materials in, especially the mowers. We have a small tool shed for the shovels, rakes, hoes, gloves, stakes, wheelbarrows, etc. but the mowers need a larger space. If you would like to help with this important fundraiser, or if you work for a business that requires volunteering in the community, call John Geissler at Agape Distribution at 937-498-4368 or Conelia at 937-726-9525, or email coneliak1@yahoo.com.

Michelle Stephenson gets ready for a productive work day at the People’s Garden.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2021/04/web1_GARDEN_1.jpgMichelle Stephenson gets ready for a productive work day at the People’s Garden.

Several volunteers get to work on the raised beds at the People’s Garden during a work day.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2021/04/web1_GARDEN_2.jpgSeveral volunteers get to work on the raised beds at the People’s Garden during a work day.

https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2021/04/web1_DixonConelia.jpg

By Conelia Dixon

Contributing columnist

The writer is a Master Gardener and a coordinator of the People’s Garden. Reach her at 937-726-9525.

The writer is a Master Gardener and a coordinator of the People’s Garden. Reach her at 937-726-9525.