Bob Caldwell has been a longtime organizer, water manager and now treasurer of the Community Organic Gardens of Sequim. (Sonja Younger)

Bob Caldwell has been a longtime organizer, water manager and now treasurer of the Community Organic Gardens of Sequim. (Sonja Younger)

Community Organic Gardens of Sequim celebrates a decade

SEQUIM — The Community Organic Gardens of Sequim organization is celebrating a decade of growing flowers, produce and long-lasting friendships.

The organization and its members are gearing up for its spring season and April kickoff and hope to get plot holders trained and ready to start gardening.

“We have everything everybody needs. You just have to show up ready to work on your garden,” Jaimi Primrose, an organizer and gardener, said.

The Community Organic Gardens of Sequim (COGS) was started by several gardeners and community members in 2008, such as Liz Harper, Pam Larsen and Bob Caldwell, after the idea sprouted from Sequim educator Linda Dolan and students from the Sequim High School Ecology Club to create a community garden and preserve local farmland.

Now 10 years later, COGS is still thriving in the heart of Sequim at West Fir Street between Fifth Avenue and Seventh Avenue, and East Spruce Street between North Sequim Avenue and North Sunnyside Avenue at the June Robinson Memorial Park.

“One of our other goals was to create community, and it’s definitely done that,” Caldwell said.

COGS organizers said five plots are available of the 38 and that it is getting easier to fill these plots every year.

“The waiting list seems to be shorter each year,” said Gloria Knapp, a longtime member and organizer.

“In years past, we were stressed to get every plot filled but now it seems easier each year to accomplish that.”

Knapp said the garden has had 125 plot holders total in the last 10 years. It costs $45 for a plot and includes the organic gardening class with Larsen, seeds, compost and water.

Primrose said organizers are hoping to get the word out about plots now so that gardeners will be ready by the spring season. She said the busiest season, however, is yet to come.

“Summer is busy and everything is growing,” Primrose said. “And it’s a wonderful time to be outside.”

Organizers said while it has been a joy to have a place to garden all year long, it is the camaraderie the garden has created that makes it so special.

“I hope we will be able to continue for another 10 years as successfully as we have this time,” Caldwell said.

“It’s been really wonderful to see how the community has responded and are taking advantage of it,” Knapp said.

“I think it’s the people; gardeners tend to be warm and gracious and caring people.”

For the future, organizers said they are hoping to put in more raised beds to make it easier on gardeners.

Knapp said over the years the group has lost gardeners due to illness and death and she would like to remember them: Candy Olmer, “Big Jimm” Johnson and Anita Matthay.

“They brightened our days and continue to be missed,” Knapp said.

For more information about COGS, visit http://www.sequimcogs.org/ or contact Jaimi Primrose at 360-808-3877 for plot information or fill out a plot application at the organization’s website.

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Erin Hawkins is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach her at [email protected].

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