Spanish Fork residents start community garden | News, sports, jobs

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Newly constructed garden beds are located in a new community garden in Spanish Fork on Friday, April 14, 2023.

Courtesy Tiffany Miller


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Tasha Miller and Adia Davis volunteer to help build a community garden in Spanish Fork on Friday, April 14, 2023.

Courtesy Tiffany Miller


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Newly constructed garden beds are located in a new community garden in Spanish Fork on Friday, April 14, 2023.

Courtesy Tiffany Miller

Residents of Spanish Fork and surrounding communities are coming together to build the city’s first community garden, which will be open to the public by this weekend. Operated under Provo’s Community Action Services and Food Bank, the garden will allow residents to grow their own healthy food for a small fee.

“It’s a great way to add fresh food to your family, improve your mental health and make friends in the community,” said Hilary Whitaker, who runs the garden at 789 W.

For $20, residents can rent a raised bed for the growing season. This provides not only an economical way to get fresh food, but also a place to grow it and a community of gardeners who can give advice and ensure that the population’s produce grows well. In addition to standard fruit and vegetable seeds, customers will have access to perennial herbs, strawberries, and pumpkin from the pumpkin patch in the fall.

This park is the fifth of its kind to be opened under a nonprofit organization, with four other sites currently operating in Provo. The parks are open to all Utah County residents upon signing a liability waiver, and all skill levels are welcome.

The park is created with resources obtained entirely through donations. Spanish Fork City provided land and water, while The Dugout, Lion’s Pride Insurance, and Hillcrest Bank provided sufficient funds to purchase a shed.

Other donors of money, materials, discounts, or volunteer hours have included Java Junkie, MVP Sports, Maple Creek Mill, Ainge Drywall, Lowe’s, Laughing Owl Greenhouse, Wasatch Pallet, Jmart, Old Mill Landscaping, and Spanish Fork Scout Troop 72.

The idea for a community garden arose out of student interest, said Tiffany Miller, director of the New Garden Committee.

“I was teaching a gardening class at the Spanish Fork Public Library and a sponsor asked me if we had a community garden here in Spanish Fork,” she said. “Since there was no interest and few people were interested in it, I decided we should start one.”

The Spanish Fork Community Gardens Committee was then formed last fall and has grown to 11 members this spring. Miller has been gardening since 2014, when she first took the Master Gardener course at Utah State University and discovered her passion for the hobby.

In order to maintain her master gardener status, she has to volunteer at least 30 hours each year, but she easily exceeds this minimum.

“I’ve been volunteering and taking classes at Thanksgiving Point Ashton Gardens every summer since 2014, so it would be nice to get closer to home in Spanish Fork Garden. The side yard has eight raised beds where I grow tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini and more,” Miller said. “Seems like that wasn’t enough for me since I started a community building project. I love the magic of watching a seed sprout and then grow into a giant plant and eating the food that comes from it.”

So far, volunteers have built 48 of the park’s 58 raised beds and filled them with soil and chips. The remaining beds are expected to be completed by the grand opening. Forty beds are available for rent, and six are for growing food for the Tabitha’s Way Local Food Pantry.

The local library will also have four beds that will be used for cooking, food insecurity, seed saving, harvesting, preservation and other gardening lessons. Excess produce grown in the garden will be donated to Tabitha’s Way.

Spanish Fork Community Garden will hold its grand opening from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. The ribbon-cutting ceremony will begin at 10:15 a.m., with lessons for children and adults throughout the day.

Adult classes include a composting class at 10:30 a.m., a seed starting and soil preparation lesson at 11:30 a.m., a seed bomb exhibit at noon, and a USU gardening class at 1 p.m. Story Library at 11 a.m. and Pollinators class at 12:30 p.m

Other activities going on at the event will include face painting, hula hoops, music, rock painting, and adding handprints to a section of the new library. Food trucks will also be present at the event and donate a percentage of sales to the park, including Jurassic Tacos, Kai Pops, Slice-A-Pizza, and Squeezed Lemonade.

After the grand opening, the park will be open to gardening and event goers all week during daylight hours. A circular house will be added in the fall to create warmer temperatures for the food to grow as the weather cools.

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