With the help of Mother Nature and lots of tender loving care from the gardeners, it has been an excellent growing season for Blackfoot's Community Garden. Gardeners are enjoying a bountiful harvest of home grown fruits, vegetables and herbs with plenty of pumpkins still to come this fall.
Garden coordinator Jon Lyksett said the Community Garden was formed two years ago as a recreational avenue for those who don't have space to plant and tend a garden and an opportunity to help those who need to feed their families become self-reliant by learning to plant and grow a garden.
"It's also a place for people from other cultures to grow foods that aren't found in local supermarkets," Lyksett said, adding that 'salsa gardens' have been popular for planting varieties of peppers, tomatoes and herbs.
Lyksett said the garden got off to a bit of a slow start this spring when the weather was being fickle; however, once the warm weather finally took hold for the season, it [the garden] progressed nicely and thankfully, there was a decent water supply this year.
There are about 16 plots in the garden (one plot that is handicap accessible) nurtured by individuals or groups who pay a small rental fee for the garden space; one being the Community Dinner Table, a non-profit group that helps reduce hunger in the community.
Lyksett said he enjoys visiting with the gardeners throughout the growing season and says that they [the gardeners] all take a lot of pride in their garden plots.
"I have seen single parents teach their kids to work and learn responsibility," he said. "One kid might tend the carrots, the other tends the squash...it's been neat to watch."
Lyksett said the gardeners will continue to harvest the produce until it freezes and the garden has to be put to bed for the winter.