By MARK EVANS
Some 275 years after French Canadian pioneers began planting individual rows of crops in a communal field on Le Grand Champ, the idea of a shared garden area lives on.
About five years ago, Betsy Kunz, Elaine Mooney and Lorie Herzog founded a community garden area on North Main Street, near the North Gabouri Creek.
Currently 13 of 15 plots are rented out, with a wide variety of plants represented every year.
“The idea was to have a place for people to garden whatever they wanted,” Kunz said, “vegetables or flowers or whatever.”
Today Kunz, Mooney and Nick and Mary Donze are among the leaders of the project. Some plant vegetables, others plant flowers.
“It’s a beautiful place for the community,” Kunz said. Some people have yards with no sun, which makes it difficult to grow anything, so they rent a lot. We have good sun here.”
The city provided a water hookup and spigot and the garden provides lot renters access to a locked tool shed.
The 10 by 20-foot lots rent for $25 a season.
Renters have to sign an agreement to abide by certain conditions, including no planting of illegal crops and keeping any applied chemicals within one’s own lot.