Starting a little green ‘community’ garden in Brown County

Local News

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) The gardening season is in full swing. But not everyone has the soil needed to grow vegetables. If that sounds like you Local 5 may have found a solution in the Brown County UW Extension Community Gardens program.

On a plot of land just off of 5th Street in Green Bay, Keith Lutz works the soil.

“I’ve got cucumbers and my greens, lettuce, cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts,” said Lutz.

Garden space he has been renting from Brown County the past four years.

“I use to have a house and I gardened there. Six years ago I moved into a condo downtown and I missed the garden,” Lutz said.

Land made available through the UW Extension Community Gardens program.

“Been around for about 22 years and we have 12 community gardens scattered around Brown County,” said Area Extension Director Judt Knudsen. “Individuals are able to rent for a nominal fee, a garden plot for the growing season and many of our gardeners come back year after year.”

The program was started to help low to middle-income households grow their own food and Knudsen says it is working.

“We seem to be adding one new garden a year so there continues to be a lot of interest in community gardens,” Knudsen said.

Over 250 gardeners rent some 400 plots for fees that range between $10 to $45 per space. The county makes sure the soil is prepared each year and they provide wood chips, manure, even water.

“I’m able to grow more than enough for myself and donate to the food pantries in town my excess,” said Lutz.

Last year Lutz donated 75 pounds of potatoes. This year he’ll give away tomatoes, beans, and squash. Whatever is left he’ll take home.

“I know that I’m getting things at the peak of flavor, at the peak of freshness,” Lutz said.

And enjoy the harvest of fresh produce that he’ll grow himself in this community garden.

“This is the best way to get fresh food,” Lutz said.

Plots of land are still available for rent. Follow this link for more information.

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