At Sumner's community garden, anyone can come and farm a plot of organic land and learn the ins and outs of farming -- hands on.
Volunteer farmers can get their hands dirty and grow rhubarb, lettuce, squash, corn, berries and more. Gardeners can have plots at Shepard's Field behind Christ the King Lutheran Church, or on city-owned property adjacent to the Sumner Cemetery.
You can also rent-a-chicken and get all the farm fresh eggs you can handle for a small fee. Over 125 eggs are collected from the coops daily.
The community gardens give back to the community through donations to the Sumner Food Bank. Over 100,000 pounds of fresh food and eggs have been donated since the garden's inception in 2007.
There's been some heated debate in the community about the future of the gardens in terms of city support and funding. Basically, there is no additional funding for the garden included in Sumner’s upcoming proposed two-year budget, prepared by the city administrator that council must approve by the end of this year.
There is also a need for heavy machinery equipment to keep the large garden growing, and access to city resources is causing a stir, after Sumner councilman and garden coordinator Randy Hynek lost access to city-owned machinery.
The city of Sumner has created an information page on the issue and answers questions about funding responsibility and past decisions. Read more on the City of Sumner website.
To help local people learn more about the garden, there is a community garden open house scheduled for Sat., Nov. 17 at 10 a.m. in council chambers. Learn more about how to get involved and get your questions about the garden answered by councilmembers, volunteers and city staff.
Be sure to browse our gallery of photos from Sumner's garden and feel free to add your own. Also, watch the attached video created by Sumner resident Katharine Rode, who recently toured the garden with Councilmember Hynek.
For more questions on the garden, email the project leaders at firstname.lastname@example.org.