OCEANSIDE — A dozen members of North Coast United Methodist Church with weed-whackers and shovels in hand were breaking ground on a church community garden July 9.
The weed-ridden and rocky lot on church grounds will soon be a 150-square-foot-by-150-square-foot garden complete with walkways, a seating and meditation area and approximately 60 sectioned off garden beds surrounded by about 600 feet of fencing.
“We’ll lay out as many (garden plots) as we can enclose,” Jan DesRosiers, church volunteer and project coordinator, said. “We’ll use all the fence we have.”
Garden beds are available to any community member or group who would like a garden space and the camaraderie of working in a shared garden. Church members, a Girl Scout troop and families have already signed up for 20 of the spaces. The church is actively seeking community partners to help establish and maintain the garden that will benefit the neighborhood.
“It’s not just a church project,” DesRosiers said.
Those who claim a space are responsible for part of the water bill and planting and maintaining an organic garden bed. Gardeners will also be asked to help out with two vegetable plots that will be used to grow food to donate to local food banks.
The idea for the garden was brainstormed at a church visioning conference in 2008. It is one of several community outreach projects the church has undertaken.
Presently weeds and rocks are being removed from the garden space. The next step is for the ground to be tilled and mulched. Then fencing will be installed, paths and garden beds will be defined and a sprinkler system will be added. The timeline for the ground to be ready for planting depends on how many volunteers can be recruited.
“We have a handful of volunteers,” Jay Chambers, of the Methodist Men, said. “We’ve dedicated one Saturday a month.”
Volunteers who are home gardeners are learning to drive tractors and install fencing as they go.
“It’s a source of good we can do together,” Chambers said.
For more information on the community garden project, contact North Coast United Methodist Church at (760) 439 4099.