Linda Wehrman stands next to corn she grew in the Coupeville community garden in 2009. Photo provided

Linda Wehrman stands next to corn she grew in the Coupeville community garden in 2009. Photo provided

‘20 for 20’ effort gives Coupeville community garden new hope

Linda Wehrman firmly believes that everyone should have access to fresh vegetables and herbs, straight from the ground.

Thus, the Coupeville resident was understandably distraught when she learned the town was closing its community garden in 2019 because of its lack of use.

“It just makes Coupeville that much sweeter of a place to live,” Wehrman said of the garden.

However, the notice of its closure came with a seed of hope. That mayor said that if 20 plots were claimed by Sept. 20, she would re-open the community space. Wehrman took this to heart and set to work campaigning for its opening.

She made fliers that advertised “20 for 20,” framed with photos of bright flowers and ripe produce that she grew there in 2018. She shared them with downtown businesses, her friends and just about anybody who might potentially be interested.

Plots are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis and are $30 to rent for the year. If there are spaces available, which is likely because the garden has 60 available spots, gardeners outside of town limits may also rent plots.

Wehrman and her family have used the garden most years since 2009. She gardens with her neighbor, which she said makes it easier if someone leaves on vacation.

“If most people knew how easy it was and the advantages of it, they’d want to give it a try,” she said.

The gardening enthusiast has a variety of ideas for supporting the town’s community patch and those ideas keep blossoming into new ideas. She’d be willing to plan an opening or closing party at the garden, initiate a tool-sharing program and recruit teachers for classes in different gardening techniques. Wehrman encourages larger groups such as churches or clubs to consider using a plot or two for growing food to donate to the food bank.

“There’s all kinds of things that would help grow the garden,” she said.

She knows of about 10 or 12 plots that have been committed to thus far and is hoping that the more people that know about it the more that will be interested. In advocating for the garden’s use, she emphasizes that plants don’t need to be watered every day once they’re established. She said even people who live outside of town but work in Coupeville could make it work.

“It’s a great thing to get fresh vegetables,” Wehrman said. “It’s just so cool to grow your own food.”

• Those interested in reserving a plot have until Sept. 20. Plots are $30 and can be applied for by filling out a form at Coupeville Town Hall or calling 360-678-4461.

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