By Antoinette Berthelotte
A garden club has been successful and growing here since 1956. And we now have a fantastic group of volunteers who are offering the village even more. The Idyllwild Community Garden and Education Center, got their feet on the ground in 2017. The garden program abounds with information, tutorials and services, and people—especially children—can learn hands-on gardening from, well… the ground up!
ICG adds to the eclectic fabric of Idyllwild through all levels of classes and demonstrations. They take into consideration the challenges of mountain gardening and the importance of sustainability and ecology. Their emphasis is on edibles such as fruits, vegetables and herbs. This is even more important as more people would rather grow their own food, organically, to save money and avoid the pesticides and contamination that are often found in retail goods. In keeping with their mission, excess food grown at ICG is donated to the Idyllwild Help Center.
Their corner property at Alderwood and North Circle, generously donated by Dora Dillman, with a landscape designed by April Palmer, is a happening place during the growing season. ICG offers classes and events on Saturdays, and most of them are free. They have some longer-term classes for a small fee and some exceptional speakers. ICG is also planning some one-hour classes after school during the week. This is a place where chil- dren can really play in the dirt, and so can adults!
ICG, working under the auspices of Young Idyllwild, Inc., has been able to create this garden thanks to the generous donations of cash, goods in kind, and volunteer labor from our community. They currently have 17 fruit trees, tool sheds fencing, a greenhouse, gardening boxes, irrigation and a 2,500-gallon catchment water container. Thanks to our lovely wet year, this container is full.
As do all such organizations in Idyllwild, the garden depends on the participation and support of the village. You can get involved by attending their events, sharing your own skills and knowledge, participate by offering your time and services and donating to assist ICG in helping schools, community organizations and church groups. Of course, monetary contributions are always appreciated, whether it’s a one-time gift, a grant, or a business sponsorship. For more information or questions, go to youngidyllwild.org/garden.
Bob Greenamyer, Core Leader, and Julia Goldfarb-Sousa, Leadership Intern, have some wonderful ideas for the future, and are now actively working with the Idyllwild Garden Club to coordinate and enhance the gardening experience for all ages.