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Home Grown

Community Garden Revival


S. John Collins / Baker City Herald A crew of volunteers prepare the former community garden, at the north side of the rodeo arena, for cultivation and planting. Teresa Schwab, right, organizer for the Baker City Community Garden, soaked the base of metal fence posts Tuesday to help with their removal. Laurie Wittich, left, with Mountain Valley Mental Health, works with Michael Fedderly to pull posts.
S. John Collins / Baker City Herald A crew of volunteers prepare the former community garden, at the north side of the rodeo arena, for cultivation and planting. Teresa Schwab, right, organizer for the Baker City Community Garden, soaked the base of metal fence posts Tuesday to help with their removal. Laurie Wittich, left, with Mountain Valley Mental Health, works with Michael Fedderly to pull posts.

By Chris Collins

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A self-described “do-gooder” who is passionate about helping others has thrown her energy into developing a community garden.

 Teresa Schwab, 50, moved to Baker City 10 months ago to join her aunt, Susan Fleming, who works at Ace Nursery.

On Tuesday, Schwab led the first of many work parties planned to prepare, cultivate and nurture the garden site, which sits just north of the rodeo arena on Baker County Fairgrounds property. Small-scale gardens have been planted at the site in the past.

Schwab says her goal in developing the garden is to help people — who wouldn’t otherwise be able to — grow their own food.

And as she looks toward the future, Schwab hopes to build a second community garden in another area of town and a third after that to allow residents to walk to the one nearest their neighborhood.

Schwab said she attended the Fair Board’s meeting last month in the hope of launching the project.

“I told them my vision and was given their blessing,” she said.

That vision includes the creation of 10 garden plots measuring 15 feet by 50 feet — enough space to plant crops to feed a family of four or to be shared by multiple people, she says.

The plots will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis after an application is completed.

For this year, gardeners will share the cost of water to grow their crops. A sliding fee based on each person’s ability to pay, to a maximum of $25 for the season, will be charged, Schwab said.

See more in Friday's issue of the Baker City Herald. 

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