‘Community Garden Coalition’ events aim to build network of gardeners in Boyle County

Published 8:36 am Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Organizers are hoping the the formation of a “Community Garden Coalition” will be the seeds of something great in Boyle County.

File photo by Ben Kleppinger
Bob Ziesmer picks tomatoes from one of his gardens at his son’s house, south of Junction City, in July. Ziesmer is hoping meetings for community gardeners at the Boyle County Public Library this week will grow local connections between those with green thumbs and lead to more community garden projects.

The first meeting of the coalition is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Saturday, and an earlier companion event is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Both events are being held at the Boyle County Public Library.

Bob Ziesmer, a local community gardener, said both days will provide opportunities for gardeners and those interested in gardening to make connections and create a homegrown network of like-minded people.

Email newsletter signup

Those connections will hopefully be used to grow and fertilize ideas for community gardens around the county, Ziesmer said.

Plans for community gardens at an elementary school and a retirement community in Boyle County are already being talked about; these events will help get more local gardeners involved and make other community gardens possible, as well, he said.

In addition, attendees at the events will be given “seed tapes” — homemade tapes with seeds placed evenly along them that make planting a perfectly spaced garden much easier. And they’ll be given information on how to learn to make seed tapes themselves, Ziesmer said.

“For me, it’s very therapeutic,” Ziesmer said of making seed tapes, which he does a lot in the winter when his own garden isn’t growing. “It’s just something you can do and you accomplish it, and then when it comes time to plant, you’re already ready to go.”

Ziesmer said the events will also “acquaint people with the fact there are more varieties that are worth trying of every vegetable.”

At Saturday’s event, which is being called the first meeting of the Community Garden Coalition, there will be a pair of experts on-hand as well — Alexis Sheffield, horticulture agent for the Boyle County Cooperative Extension Office, and John Lyons with Daynabrook Greenhouse in Harrodsburg.

“From a social standpoint, community garden establishment and maintenance can have a strong influence on the local sense of community,” Sheffield wrote in an article about Saturday’s event. “When people work together in a garden, they build a sense of togetherness through positive activity, cooperation, and sharing. It can be a great activity for local youth, who may find themselves with few summer activities, or the need for more time outdoors.”

Ziesmer said he’s been working to make enough seed tapes using donated seeds by Baker Creek and John Scheepers, but supplies of free seed tapes may be limited.

The events are planned to last about an hour.

“Hopefully, people will stay around afterwards and chat,” Ziesmer said.


The first meeting of the Boyle County Community Garden Coalition will be 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 27, at the Boyle County Public Library. A companion event will be held two days earlier, at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25. Both events are open to the public and anyone interested in community gardening is encouraged to attend. Some free seed tapes will be available, and attendees will be pointed to resources for learning how to make seed tapes on their own.