Although the Rose Roots Community Garden has been open to gardeners since 2011, every year, almost a quarter of the garden — about 20 of its 89 plots — stays vacant, said gardener Laura Bennett, …
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Although the Rose Roots Community Garden has been open to gardeners since 2011, every year, almost a quarter of the garden — about 20 of its 89 plots — stays vacant, said gardener Laura Bennett, who leads orientations for the garden’s new members.
Located in northwest Arvada at 12920 W. 84th Ave., surrounded by nearby neighborhoods and small community farms, the organic garden has limited opportunities to post signage that can be seen from Arvada’s main roads.
But as this year’s growing season approaches, gardeners like Bennett and Rose Roots communications leader Erin Newton are determined to get the word out and bring new faces to the semi-secret garden.
“Every year, we need people,” Bennett said. “We have 89 plots and we can expand as needed. We have room to grow.”
Registration is open through June 1 but many gardeners have already gotten started planting crops, with the primary planting season to take place in April and May, Bennett and Newton said. The garden holds a planting party around Mother’s Day each year, as well as cooking demonstrations, concerts and other events throughout the season.
Gardeners can plant a wide variety of crops, from sage to lavender to pumpkins, Bennett said. She and Newton added that the garden is open to any community member with any level of experience.
“I didn’t know anything about gardening when I started, but you can always start with the tried and true zucchini,” Newton said. “We have master gardeners and they love giving people unending amounts of information. You learn something new every year.”
The two also highlighted the garden’s strong partnership with the community, with local Boy Scout troops, churches, schools, service organizations and the Arvada Fire Protection District all involved in building and maintaining the space.
In turn, gardeners typically donate thousands of pounds of produce each year to local nonprofit Community Table, which distributes the produce to families in need. Each year, the haul to the food bank grows steadily, Bennett said — last year, she recalls bringing 286 pounds of produce to the nonprofit in just one day, she said.
Newton added that the garden has been the ideal place to take her son, Grayson, during the summer season, as well as a place to go in the midst of the current COVID outbreak.
“You can go to the garden and you’re still social distancing,” she said. “Gardening is the new getting out.”
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