Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Bill Albee Community Garden has Come to Fruition by, Richard DeBusman

Bill Albee Memorial Community Garden
YaHooo! Finally and at long last the idea of a community garden in Copperopolis has come to fruition.  It took several years and lots of enthusiastic, energized community members but it is happening now.

Some 4 years ago 6 people gathered together around the idea of developing a community garden here in the hard clay, rocky ground that presents such a challenge for raising your own veggies. The first challenge was to find a location that was centrally located and had water. Russ Thomas was the first to suggest the lot along O’Byrnes Ferry Road just across from the Lake Tulloch Center. Others were suggested and investigated but we lacked a leader to carry this search and project forward. Then one lucky day Jack Jimenez stepped up to the plate and has been the anchor through ever step from ripping the rocky ground to tilling in the first load of Diestel Compost. 

Untold hours have been donated by many of our community members with work parties to pick rocks, remove weeds, fix fence and finally the actual planting of the first crop. For two years we struggled with issues like soil that was poor in nutrition, lack of a working tiller, irrigation supplies, finding starts to plant and a large enough volunteer group to do the work necessary to bring this idea to fruition. With the leadership of Del Jackson and Bruce Reid from  Copper Parks and Recreation, many of our issues were addressed but we still lacked a consistent head gardener. Oh, how we wished for someone with gardening experience and time to come along and bail us out! Well, just exactly that indeed happened! Along came Darrell and Carla Lucas one fine day and they were up to the big, big task ahead as evidenced by the flourishing garden you see today. 

 You are invited to stop by the garden any day during the morning hours between 9am and noon. There you will find Darrell and Carla tending the garden, coordinating volunteers, directing people to veggies that are ready to harvest, giving tours and sharing their gardening knowledge. Really! You should come by to meet them and share your sage gardening stories. In these troubled times, here you will find a good story.
Richard DeBusman

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