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Lebanon’s first Edible Front Yard and Community Garden Tour will take place Saturday, July 15. Sponsored by the Santiam Food Alliance, this free, self-guided tour will run from 10 am to 1 pm.
The tour will include six Lebanon gardens, three of them community gardens and the others residential front yards. The community gardens are at Cascade Ridge apartments, on Reeves Parkway at Fifth St.; at the Lebanon Senior Center; and adjacent to Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, at 3111 S. Main St. (the garden is to the east, on Wagon Wheel). The home gardens belong to Daniel King, at West Rose and 2nd St.; Colleen Floro, at 472 East Vine; and Linda Ziedrich, at East Ash and Hiatt.
The three home gardens all employ the concept of edible landscaping, which means gardening for beauty as well as for delicious, healthful produce. King, Floro, and Ziedrich mix edibles and ornamentals in compact front yards. All three also make full use of their parking strips, the planting areas between the sidewalk and the street that are often called hellstrips, because of the difficulties they present to gardeners. These gardeners’ curbside gardens, however, might better be called heavenstrips.
The community gardens are at the center of town and at opposite ends. The Cascade Ridge garden provides plots for 16 residents of the complex, and the two long beds at the Senior Center includes plots for 20 seniors. The Garden of Eatin’, next to Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, is the biggest garden on the tour. It provides a mix of raised and in-ground beds, available for rent by community members for only 20 dollars per year, water, compost, and mulch included.
Visitors can take the tour in any order they like. Maps will be available at the tour sites and can be picked up in advance at the Lebanon Senior Center, the Lebanon Public Library, and Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church (at the church office, open from 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Thursday). At Cascade Ridge, those coming by car should park in an unnumbered space and look for the fenced area at the northeast corner of the complex. The Senior Center also has a parking lot. At the other gardens, plenty of street parking is available, and it’s an easy walk from the Senior Center to each of the home gardens. Gardeners and volunteers will be available to answer questions at the sites.
The Edible Front Yard and Community Garden Tour is sponsored by the Santiam Food Alliance, with help from the Lebanon Garden Club and the Linn County Master Gardeners.