The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

End of the season at the community garden


December 20, 2012

Seven to 10 hardy gardeners regularly brave the cold Wednesday mornings to work on putting the Community Garden in Erickson Park on Columbia Street in Cathlamet to bed for the winter.

These workers, some who garden a plot of their own and some who just want to volunteer, have weeded, rototilled, carted garden waste to compost piles, refreshed pathways with shredded cedar shavings, and much more. The final wheelbarrow load of straw and manure mulch for the season was emptied onto the garden December 12.

The community garden has been put to bed, to slumber the rest of the winter while nature works its magic converting mulch into nutrients for next season’s plants.

The Friends of the Garden would like to thank all of you who supported and contributed to the success of the 2012 garden. Recognition is given to Carol and Walt Geil for the fine work they did coordinating with Home Depot and Timberland volunteers for the fence and water system. Carol did a fine job in coordinating the garden plot assignments. Walt contributed his many talents in building a greenhouse and organizing the tool shed.

Our thanks go out to Chuck Christiansen for the creative wrought iron front gates. Also to Anderson Shake and Shingle for several loads of cedar shreddings used in the pathways, and the local GFWC Cathlamet Woman’s Club for their generous donation. We thank Fred Stanley for the use of his dump truck and Patrick Beach who hauled the Wahkiakum County Fair barn gleanings to our mulch pile. Marti and Hal Kintigh brought over several truck loads of hay left from the Skate Board Event. For once we had sufficient mulch to adequately cover the entire garden.

We had the assistance of several community service people and work-release men to help with some of the heavier work. And we appreciate the support of Mayor George Wehrfritz and the Town of Cathlamet for the space and water used in the gardens.

The Community Garden is divided into two sections. One section is for individual plots for those who want to grow their own vegetables. About one-third of the garden is dedicated to growing vegetables for the local food banks. In the southeast corner is a Master Gardener Specimen Herb Garden and in the northwest corner is the developing Pollinator Garden dedicated to growing plants that attract many varieties of pollinators.

Growing a garden is always a different challenge from year to year. Things change, decisions must be made. This year we decided that we would add raised beds to a portion of the Food Bank Garden. To do this we need some clean, rich top soil. Funds and volunteer help are always needed. Nothing is free, not even growing free food.

Anyone who would like to contribute to our efforts can contact Chris Holmes or Linda Hartung at the Health Department. Anyone who would like a plot of their own can contact Linda, our garden coordinator, at 795-0050 or

Even if you have never gardened before, Master Gardeners and other experienced gardeners are available on some days at the garden to help with your planning and maintenance of a garden plot. There is nothing quite as tasty as a freshly picked vegetable you grew yourself.

Above, Master Gardener Bob Adams dumps the last wheelbarrow of mulch from the Fairgrounds onto a plot at the Wahkiakum Community Garden. Photo courtesy of Joyce Orr.


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