MARQUETTE - As the growing season for Upper Peninsula residents is winding down to a close, residents of Tourville North Apartments in Marquette are finding themselves with an abundance of home-grown food.
The residents tested out their first full season this year in their new community garden.
"This was our first growing season," said Paula McCormick, business manager for the apartments. "We started it last year, but we just didn't have enough time to get it totally ready for the residents to use."
Plots in the community garden at Tourville North Apartments in Marquette are in full bloom. (Journal photo by Jackie Stark)
With 20 full plots, the garden is in full swing as tomatoes, peppers, beans, potatoes and more begin to ripen.
"They're (the plots) all in use," McCormick said. "There's a lot of stuff going up back there."
The garden sits on land purchased from Marquette Area Public Schools, with the plots set up next to the bus garage located by Marquette Senior High School.
The garden is very user friendly, even having a sprinkler system installed that goes off once a day. Watering cans are available for residents who want to water their garden more often, as are tools to be used in the garden.
And though many community gardens throughout the area come with a fee, residents of Tourville North can use their plots for free. The only thing they need to buy are the seeds they want to plant.
McCormick said the garden has been a hit so far with the residents who have plots.
"Everybody loves it," she said. "There are so many things. The popular item is tomatoes. There's corn, there's one person that has a lot of herbs, there's one whole garden of potatoes, somebody has some watermelon growing, there's pretty much everything."
McCormick said the community garden is especially ideal for people living in apartments, since yard space is often limited or nonexistent.
"It was another perk for people," McCormick said. "When you're in an apartment, you just have that space. You don't have a green space anymore, especially if you just came from a home and you're used to having a garden."
Though all 20 plots are currently in use, McCormick said some residents most likely won't be gardening again next year. A waiting list has been formed.
To get on the waiting list, residents of Tourville North should stop into the main information office and ask to be placed on the list.
Jackie Stark can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242.