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Looking forward to the Saranac Lake Commmon Ground Community Garden

Chilly mornings, sunny afternoons, deep puddles of water on Lake Flower Avenue and the honking of geese returning to their summer haven — all signs of spring in the Adirondacks. It is the beginning of the season of rebirth and the beginning of the end to this frightening pandemic — what a year to remember (or forget).

It is also the time to think about summer gardening. In March and April the seed catalogs come out as excited gardeners plan out their plots and begin to start a few of those vegetable seeds inside. Remember, our spring can be tricky. Just when we think that summer is around the corner, a sneaky frost or dusting of snow can bring back the reality of living in the mountains.

Common Ground Community Garden on Old Lake Colby Road is waking up from a long winter, and Saranac Lake planters are ready, willing and able to start nurturing their crops and flowers once again. Last year was a terrific year for growing, and most of the garden plots were overflowing with tomatoes, zucchini, broccoli, peppers and lots of salad greens. Plenty of sun, great soil, a new fence surrounding the garden to keep out unwanted critters, and loads of loving care were a perfect combination — one that we expect again in 2021.

“The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nuture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul.” — Alfred Austin

Although community gatherings of our gardeners were not possible last year, we hope that the planets will align and opportunities will come to light by the end of this season. In the meantime, all of our personal farmers will chip in to keep Common Ground in good shape and remain a beacon of summer for Saranac Lake.

The garden space is available through the kind donation of Adirondack Health, and our community of “worker bees” is certainly grateful for this. There are still a few of our economical plots available for new gardeners and even a handful of small complimentary garden spaces for families who may find themselves food insecure. If you are interested in reserving a space, you can find the registration form, as well as our contact information, at www.slcommunitygardens.com. The last day to register is April 30. Our opening weekend will be May 1 and 2, when we will take on spring projects together.

In the meantime, take a drive down Old Lake Colby Road across from the back entrance to the hospital and think about the possibilities that your own vegetable garden can bring. If you plan it right, you might just wind up with an ample supply for canning pickles, tomato sauce or salsa for next fall and winter. It never hurts to plan ahead.

For those who are interested in helping to keep our garden community in good shape, we are looking for the donation of a picnic table and benches, and of course we are always happy to add tools that you no longer need to our shed. We also welcome you to drop off leaves year round.

Paul Sorgule lives in Saranac Lake.

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