As the weather heats up, so does the interest in the Basehor Community Garden. Sponsored by Basehor PRIDE, the garden has been so popular that this year it is being expanded to accommodate even more gardeners and their abundant crops of fruit, vegetables and flowers. The garden is located on the north side of Basehor City Park.
Basehor resident Chuck Wilderson is a member of Basehor PRIDE and has had a plot in the community garden from the very beginning. While it’s still a bit early to be digging in the garden, he’s already preparing to plant some sweet potatoes in his plot during the first week of May.
“Last year I planted one sweet potato vine and I got a huge four-pound potato from it,” Wilderson said. “You start by putting a sweet potato in water and allowing it to sprout. It can then be divided and ready to go into the ground. My vine is already in a jar starting to grow, so I’m off to a good start.”
Wilderson enjoys experimenting with different crops each year and noted that last year, there were more flowers planted by other gardeners than ever before. Last year, he also grew onions, potatoes, peas, beets, kale, tomatoes, zucchini and red cockscomb flowers.
Gardening plots have been so popular in the past that PRIDE has added 20 new plots. Two two plots rent for $25. Other plots of various sizes are also available. Amenities available to gardeners include on-site water and the use of a nearby storage shed and tools. The purpose of having a community garden is to encourage residents to engage with each other and enjoy the satisfaction of seeing their crop grow.
“People who are walking in the park will see us working in the garden and will come to see what’s going on,” said Wilderson. “It’s truly more than just a garden.”
The garden began in 2012 after PRIDE initially applied for a $1,000 grant to start the garden. Several years later, they applied for and received a $5,000 grant from the Kansas Community Gardens Project to construct a pergola and entrance to the garden area. Ever since, it has continued to thrive and expand. This year, several new beds are available to Basehor residents and community groups.
For the past several years, Basehor-Linwood High School students have been involved in various projects at the garden, including constructing a pergola two years ago. Basehor Community Garden Chairman Lew Lewis is hoping students construct new raised beds again this year.
Residents may reserve this year’s growing plot by contacting Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org
He will also be at the Basehor Community Library at 10 a.m. April 7 to take reservations for plots.
Beth Kornegay is a freelance writer covering news and events in the city of Basehor. If you have a story idea, email her at email@example.com