Some spaces are available in the Community Organic Gardens of Sequim (COGS) on Fir Street. Those interested can contact Liz Harper at 360-477-4881. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Some spaces are available in the Community Organic Gardens of Sequim (COGS) on Fir Street. Those interested can contact Liz Harper at 360-477-4881. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Sequim organic garden is open for more spaces

Veggies, flowers and community offered

SEQUIM — Warm wishes and a sense of giving make up the Community Organic Garden behind St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, just as much as the flowers, veggies and herbs, gardeners say.

“I love the sense of community,” said longtime gardener Liz Harper. “If that wasn’t here, I wouldn’t be a part of it.”

That feeling, gardeners say, includes little acts of kindness, such as a “Happy Birthday” banner for a fellow gardener, a toy dinosaur found hiding in a plot from a gardener’s grandchild, and the willingness to share knowledge.

Jaye Butler said fellow gardener Sara Baldwin had an aphid infestation in her plot last summer, and the whole garden came to help with solutions. As an organic garden with no chemicals, Butler introduced ladybugs to help.

“We have the people to share that expertise and the camaraderie,” Butler said.

“Sharing is what it’s all about,” Baldwin said.

With her home surrounded by trees with little sunlight for a garden in Diamond Point, she makes the trek to Sequim for her plot on Fir Street.

“I came here in 2019, roaming up and down the streets for a place to live, and I knew wherever I ended up, I knew exactly that I wanted to be here,” Baldwin said of the garden.

Opportunity

The garden, off the northwest corner of Fir Street and North Fifth Avenue (525 N. Fifth Ave.), hosts 45 plots and raised beds; three plots and two raised beds were available as of press time.

To reserve a spot, call Harper at 360-477-4881.

Fees are $45 a year for a bed or plot, including water, tools, compost and some soil.

There’s no waiting list, and participants share service hours throughout the garden.

Newer gardener Jeff Balzarini said the community garden is a “great place for beginners because they have all the tools and resources you need.”

“It’s a good place to come and escape,” he said. “They shouldn’t be afraid to try either.”

Harper said they are accommodating of abilities and life in general. For example, one couple is traveling and asked to pay for their plots for the year and return the following year.

Now one of their plots is going to be a squash garden for fellow gardeners and the other rented out for the year, Harper said.

History

The Community Organic Gardens of Sequim (COGS) started in 2008, going off an idea by Sequim educator Linda Dolan and students from the Sequim High School Ecology Club to create a community garden and preserve local farmland.

Bob Caldwell, one of the founding members, remains active with the group despite not having a plot, saying the garden has promoted gardening and eating local produce successfully.

“It’s fulfilled my dreams totally by seeing people brand new to gardening getting help and being so tickled pink with what they’re doing,” he said.

For those not interested in being green thumbs, Butler said it’s not uncommon for people to stop by and admire the work, such as artists, photographers and children.

Gardeners say flowers will soon be filling the garden throughout the spring and summer.

To express interest in participating, visit www.sequimcogs.org.

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