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South Bend Demonstration Garden Beds
The Growing Together Community Garden started in the spring of 2012. It is located just off Highway 101 behind Chen’s Restaurant and kitty corner from the Lutheran Church. It is on the site of the South Bend Food Bank. From the beginning, the garden has always served the Food Bank. Specific beds were set aside to grow food for the food bank with the other raised beds rented to individuals in the community for their own use.
In 2017 MGVs were asked to use a couple of beds to demonstrate environmentally sound gardening techniques based on WSU research; provide experience for WSU Master Gardener Volunteers; educate the public, including youth, in science-based horticulture and related topics; and to provide a focal point for public enjoyment of the Garden.
The Grays Harbor/Pacific Counties Master Gardener Foundation voted to partner with the South Bend Community Garden group and the Lutheran Church in providing advice and support to the Community Garden. The MGVs started with two raised beds, have added the in-ground bed for a pollinator garden, and use the perimeter which contains a variety of fruit trees, vines, and shrubs to demonstrate pruning. The MGVs provide educational activities to the larger community using the garden as a demonstration area. At present, MGVs suggest design ideas, conduct mini seminars, develop local interest in the MGV program, provide a site for MGVs and interns to earn demonstration garden hours, and donate food produce to the local community through the food bank.
MGVs projects include the following:
- Pruning and maintenance of fruit bearing trees, vines and shrubs within the Community Garden.
- Developed a perennial pollinator bed.
- Replaced deteriorating wood raised beds with metal beds.
- Showcase a variety of vegetables and growing methods each year.
- Created a large compost area for the site.
Since 2018, the MGVs have sponsored plant clinics and workshops yearly. Topics included proper pruning techniques, drip irrigation systems, vegetable gardening and waterwise gardening – to name a few. Master Gardener Volunteers continue to be on site several times a week to provide information on general gardening activities to community members who stop by or are gardening in their own beds.