Community support sought for Farwell garden

Jeanette Carey wears her “grandma hat” as she weeds the community garden by Mill and Elevator Supply on Avenue A in Farwell. (Staff photo: Ryn Gargulinski)

By Ryn Gargulinski: CNJ staff writer

FARWELL — There’s only one thing wrong with the community garden his parents started, according to Stephen Carey. It’s lacking the community part of the equation.

Everything else is place, Carey said. A large patch of land beside the family business of Mill and Elevator Supply at 1305 Ave. A has been tilled since late April. An entire irrigation system has been installed. Some seeds are already planted — corn, beans, onions, squash and black-eyed peas. Other seeds are still in packages. Garden tools are propped up in a shed, waiting for use.

“The weeds come faster than we can get to them,” explains Carey, who is now at the helm of the garden with help from his sister, Jeanette Carey, while the folks are on vacation in Canada.

While his parents are in town, the garden has been a family affair — tilled, seeded, watered and weeded by the four of them. An employee helped install the irrigation system.

Stephen Carey estimated they have spent at least 200-man hours and easily $1,000 setting up the garden in a patch of land that sat idle for years.

But at most four people from the surrounding areas have come by, said Jeanette Carey.

“My mom and dad are nearing retirement age and they had it pretty good,” Stephen Carey said. “They want to pass it on to some of the seniors — or anyone who needs it.”

With hundreds of square feet ready for action, Stephen Carey said the project came nowhere near the overall community participation they had hoped for — or expected.

“This is a neat idea,” Jeanette Carey said. “It would be an even neater idea of the community would participate. If we did it again and it was just for ourselves it would have to be on a smaller scale — a way smaller scale.”

The gates to the garden are open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Careys have tools and seeds, or people are welcome to bring their own.

For information, stop by Mill and Elevator Supply or call 481-3470.