Community Garden numbers growing


TORRINGTON – With so much uncertainty in the world right now, there are some things we can bank on: the sun will come back out, and if you put the right seeds in the right soil and add water, something will grow. 

The Torrington Community Garden is providing the people of Torrington with the tools and space to experience that, as long as they’re willing to put in the work. Braden Barrows-Nees, the garden’s coordinator, said he’s seen an uptick in interest as we slowly, but surely, count down the days until gardening season. 

“We’ve had an influx of people wanting garden space,” he said. “It all happened within a week.”

This will be Barrows-Nees’ second year as the garden coordinator. Last year, he grew vegetables, onions and garlic for his family, and in just one year at the helm he’s seen interest in the garden grow like the tomatoes do. 

There’s still space for newcomers, though, and Barrows-Nees said he’s planning on a community plot this growing season. 

“People are getting more interested in gardening,” he said. “I had four spots open last year, and I filled three spots and will be a community spot where we’re going to have perennial fruits and vegetables in. We’re going to have asparagus, rhubarb, raspberries, blueberries – anything that is low maintenance and beneficial. 

“If you help weed it and work it, you’re welcome to it.”

The garden, which sits at the corner of 27th and Main Streets, is on a plot of land owned by All Saints Episcopal Church. Barrows-Nees and the garden received a grant from the church to purchase communal tools and a shed so gardeners won’t have to haul their own equipment back and forth. 

The shed is being built by students at Southeast High School and while its construction has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Barrows-Nees said he hopes it won’t be too long before people can enjoy working in the garden. 

“I got a grant through the church, and that is what I’m using to buy a shed and some tools,” he said. “They just want people to garden and I’m happy it’s going to be full. 

“All you need to bring is plants or seeds and your own work ethic. Our plan is to have everything else provided.”

Should the garden grow too fast, Barrows-Nees said he may have to start a waiting list. But for now, if people want to garden, he’ll make every effort to make that happen. 

“We’re still looking for people,” he said. “Even though its full, that doesn’t mean we don’t want more people interested. 

“I would like as many people to garden as possible.”

For more information on the Torrington Community Garden or to get a plot of your own, contact Barrows-Nees at 307-222-4046, e-mail [email protected] and visit the Torrington Community Garden group on Facebook. 

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