ACE to build raised gardens

All Cultures Equal is looking for help to build the new Family Garden Space and Outdoor Place at ACE. On Friday from 1 to 4 p.m., anyone interested in assembling six raised bed gardens and long stretches of boardwalk are encouraged to share their skills and energy.

On May 3, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., those interested in renting garden space in the Family Garden Spaces or helping with the existing Boone River Country Community Garden Spaces, can secure their space and plant cool season crops. UDMO Food Pantry Patrons and youth participants in the FEAST program through Webster City Middle School’s Choices and Challenges will receive free spaces or container gardens and seeds or transplants. ACE is located at 1440 East Second Street, Webster City.

Efforts combined

ACE officials said that with the help of Webster City High School student Cade Hilpipre, the Family Garden Space is becoming a reality. Hilpipre first approached Kent Harfst, director of parks and recreation, and the City of Webster City last summer to start similar gardens in town. When the Enhance Hamilton County Foundation grants became available and Janet Toering from All Cultures Equal was creating the new Outdoor Place at ACE as an opportunity to improve health in Hamilton County, Hilpipre, Harfst and Toering joined forces.

Toering credits the Enhance Hamilton County Foundation, Webster City Recreation and Public Grounds, Town and Country Garden Club, and All Cultures Equal for providing funds to cover five of the six new raised beds. Funds are still needed for one more 4-foot- by 8-foot, two-tiered bed, at the cost of $215.

The new garden beds will provide spaces for individuals or families to rent and grow their own crops. One bed is $50 for the summer, one half of a bed is $25. This will cover the cost of water and limited access to tools and seeds or transplants, Toering said. Garden workshops will be offered and will be particularly helpful to maximize the space in the garden through square foot gardening techniques.

The first gardening workshop on May 3 will introduce square foot gardening, cool season crops, and planting strategies. This workshop is also open for Upper Des Moines Opportunity Food Pantry patrons and ACE FEAST youth and their families. They will have an opportunity to receive free space or to work in the Boone River Country Community Gardens (BRCCG) and to receive free seeds or transplants to start a container or regular garden at home.