Crystal Rath and children

Crystal Rath and her two children, Emily and Andrew, were busy at work picking weeds and watering the community garden Monday morning. 

After many hours of digging, tilling and planting, a new community garden is up and ready for the season in Kalona.

It’s all thanks to Crystal Rath and Kathy Spenner, who began preparing the garden in the spring, 

Wet weather made planting difficult, but it is now up and sprouting. 

The garden currently has two varieties of tomatoes, two varieties of peppers, green beans and an array of pink and white flowers.

It is located at the easternmost edge of the KCTC property on B Avenue and Seventh Street, across from Kalona Oil Company. It currently covers about 120 square feet.

“If there is more interest, we can make it bigger in the future,” Rath said.

Although there is not yet an extensive list of rules, that will likely change as more people begin to contribute.

Anyone is invited to contribute to the garden. Those who wish to do so will need to bring their own gardening tools, but water is available nearby.

“I want it to work with the community and its needs,” Rath said.

Rath hopes that residents who do not have time or space to maintain a garden of their own will take advantage of the new community garden. 

Once produce is ripe, residents are invited to pick and use it as needed, with permission. Anything left unpicked will be put up for grabs on a nearby table.

“Hopefully the community will embrace and enjoy it,” Rath said.

For more information about contributing to or picking from the garden, call Rath at 319-936-7503.

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