4/23/2013 5:27:00 PM Community garden is a growing concern
The Othello Food Bank has their own plot at the garden this year. Photo by Briana Alzola.
Warmer weather is coming to town and with more sunshine comes more opportunities for Othello residents to show off their green thumbs. The Othello community garden is up and running, with plots still available for those who want a special place to grow their own fruits, vegetables and more. The food bank is thriving, with lots of organizations and groups coming in and taking plots, one of the organizers Timm Taff said. This year, there will again be plots tended by the Juvenile Alternative Detention Initiative teenagers, as well as some cared for by the food bank. The First Presbyterian Church has some plots and Avista will take a few this year, too. One of the main reasons the food bank is able to continue is through the hard work of Tracy Field, Taff said. "I couldn't do this without him," Taff said. The garden has expanded its season, with some people growing things like garlic before most plants would be growing and making full use of their plots. This year, Field put in an area for compost, making the best use of the the vines and other parts of the plant that are not eaten. There are more plots available. They are $30 each and include both access to water and automatic watering. There is also an agreement each gardener must sign that says they will not allow for their gardens to become overtaken with weeds and potentially affect the other garden plots, Taff said. This is a community garden so they want to keep it available to use for the community. This year, the access to the garden is much easier than it has in the past, because the new church parking lot for the Nazarene opens up very close to the garden itself. The Othello Food Bank also has a partnership with a program this year, called Plant a Row for the Hungry. This program offers seeds to people across the country so they can raise produce to donate to local food banks, like the one in Othello. Seeds are available from the food bank and though Taff. When produce is grown and then donated to the food bank, they also get a financial contribution for the state. They get $1.50 for every one pound of produce donated. Currently, everything grown in their plots and those run by the JDAI group go directly to the bank itself. The same is true for the new Lions Club plot. This helps local people who are struggling and can't afford fresh fruits and vegetables, Sharon Mobley, with the food bank, said.