Lincoln Community Garden plowed over ahead of season

Lincoln Community Garden plowed over ahead of season

The Lincoln Community Garden has been plowed over for a fresh start this season.

LINCOLN – The Lincoln Community Garden was nearly unrecognizable this week after the existing space was plowed over to prepare for a new growing season.

Thomas Rossi, who helps run the garden, said they decided to embark on a “soil reclamation project,” tearing down the old fencing and tilling the soil below.

“The garden had old, individual fencing between plots that were extremely ugly,” Rossi said. “We’re bringing in organic composting and turning the soil completely over, which hasn’t been done in eight or nine years.”

By starting over from scratch, Rossi said the Lincoln Community Garden will be able to welcome more members this year. There’s no charge for a plot, and no experience necessary, “just the desire to grow fresh vegetables for you and your family,” Rossi said.

Seeds, tools, water, compost, loam, wood chips and organic materials needed to grow herbs and veggies are also available at no cost.

Gardeners will be selected via a random lottery system on or around May 10.

In the meantime, the Department of Public Works cleared the existing garden space last week, surprising some gardeners.

Rossi said it’s too early in the season for there to have been established plants in the ground, except for a few blueberry bushes that were removed.

“There was a big mausoleum built over the blueberry bushes to keep the birds out, but that had to be removed because it was built without the permission of the town. We are not permitted to add structures to that land, and the property is owned by the town,” said Rossi.

Longtime gardener Andrew Mallon said he was expecting the internal fencing between plots to be removed, but thought they’d be put aside for gardeners to collect.

“They destroyed everything. Thousands of dollars worth of stuff was taken to the dump without warning,” he said. “When you till the ground, the weeds this season are going to be epic.”

Mallon said he’s just hoping the town agrees to add mulch to the land to help control the weeds.

“Without the mulches, by July you’ll have grass 6 feet high,” he warned. “Many gardeners are not healthy enough to deal with that, so they won’t come back to the garden.”

The blueberries, he said, “have gone to the birds, unfortunately.”

Rossi said the changes at the garden will be a welcome improvement. “With all of the weeds, the garden was looking really rough last year,” he said. “In consultation with DPW Director Michael Gagnon, we felt the soil needed to be reclaimed. It was tired after all these years.”

“Farmers traditionally rest their plots every few years,” he added. “You just can’t keep taking and taking from the soil.”

He said they’re working to stake off 37 individual plots. Those interested in joining the garden should email their name, address and phone number to Rossi before May 10 at twin4042@yahoo.com .