Spring Creek Communal Garden
Our community garden is run cooperatively, we plan the garden, prepare the beds, plant the seeds, weed the beds, water, harvest and preserve food as a group (as opposed to individual plots). This makes it easy and convenient for people to take vacations.
Started as a private garden around 2000, the space has evolved from a small group of community garden friends in 2006 to over 40 members today.
We have 28 annual beds and grow cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, peas, beans, garlic, onions, lettuce and other greens, chard, spinach, kale, radishes, carrots, beets, potatoes and many herbs. Our small 10 X 12 greenhouse is used to start brassicas in the spring and grow tomatoes and peppers during the summer and fall.
We do group food preservation, we have an awesome pickled bean recipe and can about 200 quarts per year. We also dry vegetables such as kale and onions in dehydrators. We are doing more fermentation as a healthier alternative to hot water bath canning and make sauerkraut, Kimchi, and other ferments.
The property has a 900 square foot RV garage that has been converted to a communal kitchen for washing and preserving our food and storing our tools.
We are finishing a 1500 square foot sunken greenhouse that is attached to the south side of the garage. By sinking the greenhouse six feet into the ground we create a sun trap kept warmer in winter and cooler in summer by the thermal mass of the ground. This structure is designed to provide a zone 8 climate (like Seattle Washington) in our zone 3-4 Montana climate with no fossil fuel heat. We grow zone 8 perennial trees and bushes such as figs, persimmons, Asian pears, peaches, loquat and grapes. This greenhouse captures rain from the roof and is stored in a 5000 gallon cistern for watering.
Also housed in the greenhouse is a chicken coop for our 15 chickens and horizontal worm bins. The worms are fed bokashi composted food waste and biochar to produce an excellent fertilizer.
We are creating a perennial permaculture food forest which consists of fruit trees with berry bushes and other smaller plants stacked under the larger trees in sun trap and sun cup arrangements. Horizontal bee hives are home to our pollinators.
In 2014 we made land available to the 1000 Gardens group to erect their greenhouse. This group of volunteers digs and helps install gardens for neighbors. Check it out! You too can have your own garden installed in your lawn by this volunteer group!