by Roberta Thelen
In the spring of 2017 I started my quest to establish a community garden behind the Toft House in Baileys Harbor. It started with five straw bales to grow tomato plants and other vegetables, but with last summer’s rain and heat the weeds took over.
This season we actually have a space that looks like a garden, with a fence and four raised beds, and compared to last year the garden looks amazing.
There are people I would like to thank for helping to move this project forward and sharing their efforts and enthusiasm. Bob Bultman helped with weed removal and clearing the area. Our Baileys Harbor Maintenance crew did an amazing job helping with providing and spreading wood chips, bringing a load of soil, and possibly the most important step of putting up the fence – without it there would be no survivors.
The raised beds were assembled and prepped with the help of Todd Rockway, Bob Bultman, Kathy Thelen, Zoe Atwood and myself, and we commenced with planting.
The majority of the plants growing at the Toft House garden were donated by Jerry’s Flowers – very special thanks to Joy and Fred Lang, and all the staff at Jerry’s!
Some other garden committee members include Katie Roth, Mike Kemmler, Ethan Farnham, Karen Smith, Sue Jarosh and Sher Rockway. I really appreciated everyone coming to meetings, sharing ideas, checking on the garden, pulling weeds and watering. Now we are doing some harvesting!
As we move forward we definitely need to build a gate, set up a compost area and make plans for the future. I hope to have a meeting this fall to discuss options for ways to better organize use of the raised beds, and possible expansion of the garden. The garden is named “Emma’s Garden” in honor of Emma Toft, whose legacy is her love of nature and her sense of stewardship.