Craig Ranch Regional Park Community Garden

Last Sunday, on a bike ride break at Craig Ranch Regional Park, I tooled around looking for a weekly farmers market I’d heard takes place there. I found the farmers market, but what really caught my eye was the community garden located in the space behind the parking lot where the market is staged. Wandering through the aisles of five-by-eight foot raised beds, I was impressed by the vegetal bounty folks had managed to coax from the dry earth: Thick bushels of chard waited to be picked, squash plants spilled over the edges of planter boxes and vines scaled trellises, heavy with green beans. But what was especially heartening was the ownership people had taken of the garden, apparent in the personal touches they made to their plots. Many are decorated with gnome statues, brass bells and trellises both functional (to support vines and sun shades) and whimsical (bearing wind-chimes and banners); and even those that aren’t bedazzled are carefully designed and groomed according to their owners’ tastes. If you’d like to get in on the food and fun, there were still 25 beds available as of Dec. 8 at a cost of $150 per year (including water and mulch). Call 702-633-2418. — Heidi Kyser

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