Community Garden

Residents who want to grow their own food can take advantage of open plots at the Clifton Community Garden.

CLIFTON — A local garden is a benefit to members of the community; and in Clifton, one of the garden’s founders is encouraging others to take advantage of its potential.

Clifton Community Garden coordinator Steve Ahmann reached out to the Copper Era this week to generate interest among residents in available plots and tending a garden. Recently, however, Ahmann said the garden has not been at its best.

“You can probably imagine that I regard the Clifton’s community garden as a local bright spot and a source of pride. However, currently it looks a mess. As the coordinator, and one of the founders, I feel responsible to try and improve the situation, pass the job to somebody that can fix it or close it down,” he said.

There’s no better time for someone interested in taking up a spade to begin with the fall planting season, it seems.

“What is your favorite fall or winter cuisine?” Ahmann asked. “If you love beets, parsnips, turnips, rutabagas, onions, radishes, snow peas, broccoli, cauliflower, leaf lettuce, cabbage or any number of root vegetables, now is the perfect time to plant.”

The above are but a few of the annual species, while there are many perennial crops, such as artichokes, strawberries and asparagus, that will likely flourish if planted now.

“In addition to enjoying the fruits of your own labor, there is tremendous satisfaction in knowing exactly where your meal originated and what it contains,” Ahmann said. “The State of Arizona inspects our garden and certifies our produce as safe, even to be served in school cafeterias.”

The garden also has a number of other amenities for gardeners looking to get started, including gardening tools and equipment, an automatic irrigation system and fellow gardeners willing to impart their wisdom. Thanks to the seed library at the Clifton Library, even starter seeds could be had for free.

It’s not all easy street, Ahmann cautioned, because any amount of gardening will require elbow grease.

“Lest I be accused of being overly enthusiastic, I must admit: you may need to turn over the soil using the garden’s rototiller, you will need to remove weeds, harvesting will be your responsibility, and insects will attempt to eat into your harvest. Yes, there are safe economical manners and means to control pests.”

Young people are encouraged to partake in the gardening with adult supervisors; however, pets are not allowed.

To participate in the community garden or for more information contact Ahmann at 928-865-2085.

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