Fall Creek Gardens was created in response to a neighborhood survey that showed a wide-spread interest in home gardening. Mapleton-Fall Creek residents wanted a gardening hub, where they could build a community garden, share resources, and most importantly share food-growing knowledge.
Our primary purpose is to teach others how to grow some of their own food, whether that is just a few herbs in a sunny window, a huge backyard garden, or a plot in a nearby community garden. Food (unlike money) DOES grow on trees, and so we also cover topics like organic orcharding, beekeeping, and tending backyard chickens.
We also want to make sure that all urban gardeners, whether beginners or experts, are aware of the importance of testing their soil to make sure it isn’t too polluted to safely grow food. Workshops on this and other ecologic topics such as building rain barrels or gardening with native plants are frequently on our calendar of events.
The Fall Creek Gardens Community Garden began in 2011 with four raised beds and space for an orchard. Since then, more than 30 families and individuals in Mapleton-Fall Creek and nearby neighborhoods have become involved. While most of our community garden (CG) plots are 12” tall raised beds, we also have seated-height and standing-height beds for people who are not able to stoop or kneel while gardening. With four beds reserved as a Children’s Garden, we are pleased to welcome gardeners of all ages and abilities to rent and maintain a plot in the community garden and grow fresh, organic produce for themselves and their families!
Our community gardeners are welcome to bring their own seeds, plants, and tools, but are also encouraged to utilize the tools and supplies in our storage shed, and to take advantage of the generous donations we periodically receive, such as seeds packets and transplants from local stores and other gardeners.
Our gardening season for the CG begins each spring with an organizational meeting in early March (2015 date TBD). At this meeting, both new and old gardeners are asked for input on the collective rules for the garden, select plots, sign a gardening agreement, and pay rental fees. Thanks to a gift from Tabernacle Presbyterian Church, we also have a small scholarship fund if you are unable to pay the rental fees.
The Children’s Garden at Fall Creek Gardens started as one corner of one of the larger community garden beds in 2012. In the second year, the Grow-N-Indy program from the Mayor’s Front Porch Alliance made it possible for us to build more beds and set aside four of them for kids to maintain and for child-focused garden programming.
For the past two years, Girl Scout Troop #283 has volunteered several hours each week during the growing season to plant, maintain, and harvest from the Children’s Garden. They have also helped community gardeners in need of assistance with their plots while out of town, or when they are too busy to harvest regularly in their plot. In addition to supplementing a late afternoon snack for the Girl Scouts, the produce is donated to either the Mid-North-Food Pantry or the Julian Center. (link to websites?) In 2015, the girls hope to mentor a younger troop that would like to learn to garden, and will also share what they’ve learned with any neighborhood kids who would like to be a part of the fun.
We are very fond and proud of this bright, talented group of young women! Thank you, Troop #283!!