The Pope County Library System has a population of around 69,000 people. PCLS four branches cover a mostly rural area, with a small urban, college town. In an effort to enhance the lives of all of the residents of Pope County, Arkansas, the library system works and plans programming and events to provide the most benefit for as many individuals, and families as possible. As with many Libraries and Library Systems, the PCLS offers “steak” programming, on a “bean” budget.
Without our dedicated and occasional volunteers, we would not be able to serve as many as we do.
For this “New Books Community Garden Pallet Project,” the pallets were donated from a local paint and body shop, the soil, fertilizer, and seedlings were given to us by our local Atwoods, and seeds were donated by the Farmers Supply Co-Op.
Our ground breaker was on April 05, 2014. We limited the class to 20 plus 1. This was very successful. We had almost double the visitors, and participants we were scheduled.
These photos are from the garden 24 days later. One volunteer worked the garden and helped with watering almost daily.
Our first plan when starting, was to create the garden with the pallets chained to the fence, in an upright position. The fence was not stout enough to take the weight of the pallets with dirt, plants, and then moisture.**
On April 5th, we started the pallets out, flat on the ground. It didn’t take long before it was brought to our attention that the pallets being on the pavement, was too hot. The 5 – 6 inches of dirt could not retain moisture.
We made bridges with extra pallets, and brought them off of the ground.
The weather was very helpful all summer, the temperatures did not reach their regular highs in Arkansas this year, until August.
This was a project where the donors included extra pallets for program participants to take if they wanted. Extra seedlings were also donated directly to the patrons, so that participants in the program could learn by doing; how to wrap the garden cloth, to contain the dirt and weight of the garden pallet. Then they had a good portion of what they needed to start their own small space garden.
There is more to come. Stay tuned. Check it out.
** Each pallet took almost three, forty pound sacks of soil. That is One hundred and twenty pounds, then the pallet weighs at least fifteen pounds, the plants start small, but grow. Water is very heavy. With eight pallets, our fence would have been a ground decoration.
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