The zucchini are expanding. The tomatoes are plumping. And the sweet smell of basil makes you wish you could bathe in a giant tub of fettuccine with pesto. These are just some of the sights and aromas of the community garden here at The Lakes.
To be accurate, our community garden at Centerra is more than just one garden. It includes 84 generously sized garden boxes for residents. Three demonstration gardens where the staff of the High Plains Environmental Center maintain a glorious display of native plant species. A sensory garden, which invites you to experience the beauty of nature with more than just your eyes. And a digging garden that lets kids do what kids do best: play in the dirt.
There’s just something about a big healthy community garden. It’s organized and messy, small and tall, leafy and viney, lovely and gritty all at the same time. And dappled with every color under the sun.
But the most beautiful thing that grows in a community garden is … community. The gardeners at The Lakes happily share their produce and expertise. They help each other with watering and troubleshooting. (“Why aren’t my eggplants getting any bigger?!”) They even have their own Facebook group. And they embrace the larger community by donating squash, tomatoes, cucumbers and, yes, some of the beloved basil to the Larimer County Food Bank.
Because otherwise, the community garden would be just a garden.