— The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) is seeking individuals or families interested in starting their own garden.
IDOA’s community garden is in the infield of the Illinois State Fairgrounds grandstand racetrack. It currently features 200 garden plots. Half of the plots are designated for organic gardening. Similarly, the remaining available plots are for non-organic gardening. Moreover, the garden’s use can be for raising fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers.
“We have seen people take an interest in growing their own food,” said IDOA Director Jerry Costello Jr. “We are excited to provide a large number of plots to allow residents.”
Costello additionally states that it doesn’t matter if they’re master gardeners or just starting out in the campaign to plant and harvest healthy, locally-grown foods.
The fee for each plot is $20. However, pre-tilling is available to you for an additional $20. Additionally, water and compost are available from IDOA free of charge.
An orientation meeting for new gardeners will be Thursday, Feb. 24 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Gardeners who previously had a plot last year may drop off their application on that date by 8 p.m. Prior plot holders do not need to attend orientation.
Those with interest in participating in the 2022 growing season are encouraged to fill out a garden application and COVID-19 Addendum/Release through the IDOA website
Applicants with complete applications and payments should return them via mail. Drop off is also available at the front desk at the Illinois Department of Agriculture. IDOA’s offices are inside the Block Building, 801 E. Sangamon Ave. Springfield, IL 62794.
Weather permitting, the Community Garden is planning to open on Sunday, Mar. 13.
If you would like more information about this year’s Community Garden, visit the IDOA website
. You can additionally contact the Department at (217) 785-8300.
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