Community garden opens in Edna | Jackson | victoriaadvocate.com – Victoria Advocate

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EDNA — When she’s on lunch break from her job at Atkinson & Associates Builders, Martina Condarco-Cardenas often checks on the vegetables growing at her family’s plots in Edna’s new community garden.

Martina Condarco-Cardenas gives a tour of one of her family’s plots at Edna’s new community garden.

By Mark Rosenberg | [email protected]

Where once stood an empty field of grass under the water tower downtown, there are now four long rows of tilled earth divided into plots measuring 10 feet square. Condarco-Cardenas, her husband Robert Cardenas and her mother Mackey Condarco sowed their seeds in mid-March. They’ve already got rows of corn, tomatoes and peppers sprouting from the earth.Condarco-Cardenas and her husband used to garden at their home out in the country, so when she heard about the community garden, she was eager to sign up. For her mother, who has decreased blood flow in her legs, and her husband, who has pulmonary fibrosis, tending to the garden provides a welcome opportunity to spend time outdoors, she said.“It gets you out and about,” Condarco-Cardenas said.Edna resident and gardening enthusiast Geary Hare, who came up with the idea to start up a community garden, worked with local officials this fall and winter to find a good location. Now, he is accepting signups from any Edna resident age 18 or older who is interested.Of the 26 plots Hare has prepared so far, 18 have been claimed already. He is in the process of tilling two more strips of earth with enough space for another 26 plots, and he said he is considering adding more.

Geary Hare explains how he prepares soil amendments at Edna’s new community garden.

By Mark Rosenberg | [email protected]

Joining the garden is free, and Hare is tilling and treating the soil with organic matter to help participants get a head start. The city has already installed one spigot and is planning on adding several more, and Hare is providing equipment and seeds for those who need it.“It’s a mixture of skill levels,” Hare said. “It’s a learning process — but that’s what we’re here for.”Hare also plans to offer gardening workshops for the community later this year.Participants are expected to keep the garden clean and family-friendly and tend to their plots at least twice a week. So far, Condarco-Cardenas said, that hasn’t been difficult.“We’ve been going out pretty much daily,” she said.Edna’s City Manager, Gary Broz, said he has high hopes for the garden.“I think it’s going to be a great thing,” he said. “It gives folks something to do, and it gives them a place to do it.”

Mark Rosenberg reports on local, regional and breaking news for the Victoria Advocate as a Report for America corps member. He can be reached at [email protected] or 361-574-1264 or on Twitter at @markrosenberg32. To support local journalism at the Advocate through Report for America, go to VictoriaAdvocate.com/report.
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