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 raised beds rented to individuals in the community for their own use.
During the next four years, the Garden matured. Master Gardeners (MGs) were asked to use 1-3 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 use and enjoyment of the Garden.
The Grays Harbor/Pacific Counties Master Gardeners 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 MGs would provide educational activities to the larger community using the garden as a demonstration area. At present, MGs suggest design ideas, conduct mini seminars, develop local interest in the MG program, provide a site for MGs and interns to earn demonstration garden hours, and donate food produce to the local community through the food bank.
MGs have completed the following projects:
- Pruned several trees and shrubs. This project is ongoing.
- Developed a perennial pollinator bed.
- Created a large compost area on site.
Between 2018 through 2021, the MGs have sponsored plant clinics and workshops yearly. Topics included proper pruning techniques, drip irrigation systems, vegetable gardening and waterwise gardening – to name a few. MG 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.