Growing in the community

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The community garden serves more than just a spot to grow plants and vegetables. It’s a spot for the community to grow together.

This community garden may not look busy now, but if you look deep enough, beneath the roots, you’ll see that it’s sprouting with life.

“I want to say we’ve got about 38 or so gardeners,” Pam Conklin, with the Minnehaha Master Gardeners Association, said.

And 42 plots help make up the Falls Park community garden. But that’s not even the half of it.

“Sioux Falls has nine community gardens that are managed by the Minnehaha Master Gardener program,” Conklin said.

If you look around, chances are you may have seen one around town. And seen plot owners tilling away.

“It’s very… it’s fun. I like to garden. Yeah. It’s a good time,” gardener Joe Bruggeman said.

For $20, anybody can own a plot for the season. 

“The money that they pay stays with the garden itself, so that money goes toward all of the supplies, the water, and any other tilling, plowing things that take place,” Conklin said.

But getting things started this year have been a bit difficult.

“It’s been a bit of a challenge to get started… and it seems like once the rain stopped it got hot really fast. I think it’s going to be a really warm season. It’s hard to say how we’re going to do with the weather but it’s just been a little slow start,” Conklin said.

When it comes to planting in your plot, almost nothing is off the table. 

“There’s stuff that people grow that I’ve never even heard of, you know? They transplant it from there I guess, it’s more from their diet than ours,” Joe Bruggeman said.

Owning a plot in the community garden isn’t all that different from what you can do in your backyard, except there’s one extra thing you can grow: relationships.

“It’s important for many reasons: not only the community but just to bring people together and give everyone an opportunity to work with their hands and work with the soil and just have that connection,” Conklin said.

“Well, it does exactly what it is: Community. I’ve met people from all over the world, I’ve met people from Africa, Tibet, Europe… it’s kind of like a little melting pot, actually,” Bruggeman said.

Learn more about how you can get your own plot in one of the many gardens around Sioux Falls on the city’s website. 

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