Port Angeles’ public Victory Garden taking shape

PORT ANGELES — On Earth Day this Friday, you can dip your hands into the earth itself, while building both community and a fence.

Port Angeles’ public Victory Garden, on West Fifth Street between Lincoln and Peabody streets, is throwing a work party — rain or shine, of course — to prepare for the coming season of sun and growth, said volunteer coordinator Diane Martin.

Everyone is welcome to join the party from 10 a.m. until late afternoon as volunteers finish the garden fence, build raised beds and otherwise transform what was a vacant field into a 50-plot garden.

This space, which stretches over two city lots, has been donated by the city of Port Angeles, and since the groundbreaking in January, Martin has been promoting the availability of garden plots to anyone hungry for fresh, organic produce.

The rental fee is $35 per year per plot, and complete details are available at 360-452-3192.

On Friday, 15 to 20 volunteers will come from The Home Depot in Sequim to complete the wooden fence and work on other garden infrastructure.

The company gave a $4,000 grant to the Port Angeles Victory Garden for lumber, topsoil and tools, said Brendan Moran, the specialty store manager who organizes Home Depot volunteers.

Volunteers dug post holes Sunday during a “prep day,” he said.

Those workers are part of the company-wide Team Depot program that assigns employees, once they express interest in volunteering, to local projects such as the garden.

The Home Depot doesn’t provide any monetary incentives to these workers, Moran said.

The point, he added, is “just giving back to the community.”

After the fence and beds are built and the first phase of seeds planted in the Fifth Street lot, Martin and her volunteers plan a grand opening party at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 21.

The Fifth Street Victory Garden, which is across the street from City Hall, is named after the backyard victory gardens of the early 1940s — patriotic efforts that provided fresh fruit and vegetables for Americans during World War II.

Today, the Port Angeles garden is about growing good food, saving money and getting to know one’s neighbors, Martin said.

She already has devoted innumerable hours to planning the garden, talking with people about renting plots and organizing volunteers.

“It’s all worth it,” she said.

Port Angeles City Councilman Max Mania, who first floated the idea of a community garden, praised Martin for gathering a core group of garden-construction workers.

“It’s going to be a great community resource and certainly an aesthetic addition to that area,” Mania said, adding that he hopes the Fifth Street garden will help more community gardens to sprout elsewhere across the city.

Martin, for her part, was also a driving force behind Port Angeles’ first public planting space, the Vineyard Community Garden, in spring 2009.

That site, on land provided by the Olympic Vineyard Christian Fellowship at 3415 S. Peabody St., has many gardeners returning this year.

There are still plots available for anyone to rent, Martin said.

While about 10 spaces are open at the Vineyard, some 30 are up for grabs on Fifth Street, she said.

The new garden needs stuff, Martin added: Tools, lumber for a shed and raised beds and cash for supplies will help the plants flourish.

Martin welcomes inquiries from would-be donors of such materials at 360-452-3192 or PAVictoryGardens@gmail.com.

Growers and supporters also are encouraged to attend the next monthly meeting of the Port Angeles Victory Garden group at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Port Angeles Library, 2210 S. Peabody St.

________

Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-681-2391 or at diane.urbani@peninsuladailynews.com.

More in Life

The Rev. Glenn Jones
Unity in Olympics program scheduled

The Rev. Glenn Jones will present “Celebrating the Papa… Continue reading

Unitarian speaker scheduled

Vivian Mulligan will present “Unitarian Universalists — Who Are… Continue reading

The Rev. Pam Douglas-Smith.
Unity in Port Townsend planning for Sunday services

The Rev. Pam Douglas-Smith will present “Divine Father Embodied”… Continue reading

ISSUES OF FAITH: Honoring parents a complicated command

FATHER’S DAY IS this Sunday. It will be the first Father’s Day… Continue reading

Daria Hunt of Beaver designed this year’s Summer Reading Challenge T-shirt. Participants can read for 30 days to earn a free shirt.
North Olympic Library System’s summer reading program begins Friday

The North Olympic Library System will begin its Summer… Continue reading

For her “Oceans” music video, Jennifer Thomas, her husband Will and son Preston set up a grand piano and light display at Bullman Beach in Sekiu. (Jennifer Thomas)
‘Oceans’ provides escape for Sequim composer

New album produced with orchestra at Abbey Road Studios

Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News
Spectators watch as a parade of boats passes by at the start of the Pride event at Pope Marine Park in Port Townsend on Saturday.
Proud parade in Port Townsend

Spectators watch as a parade of boats passes by at the start… Continue reading

Submitted photo

Photo: Bottom left to right, Coach Natalie Blankenship, Paige Reed, Libby  Swanberg, Joanna Seelye, Katelynn Middleton-Sharpe, Kennady Gilbertson, Coach Katie Newton. Top left to right, Taylor Lewis, Lily Meyer, Asha Swanberg, Sydney Hutton, Coach Ady Crosby and Coach Misty Gilbertson.
HORSEPLAY: WAHSET state finals

SEQUIM’S SMALL YET mighty equestrian team gave a dazzling display of finesse,… Continue reading

A GROWING CONCERN: Don’t let insects bug you

DO INSECTS IN your yard and garden give you the creepy crawlies?… Continue reading

ISSUES OF FAITH: Salty language can leave bad taste in mouth

A MEMORABLE SCENE in the iconic movie, “A Christmas Story,” is with… Continue reading

The Rev. Cindy Akana
Program scheduled for OUUF on Sunday

The Rev. Cindy Akana will present “The Freedom of… Continue reading

Headline from 1860s newspaper.
BACK WHEN: Olympic Peninsula history shows the danger of vigilantism

SOME PEOPLE ARE known by your local community to be the sources… Continue reading