The Hanna Agricultural Resource Team (HART) met March 29 at Hanna Hometown Mart’s cafe area to hear Abby Perry, Extension Educator from University of Wyoming speak on Range Management and Horticulture.
Perry focused on seed starting and which plants deal best with the soils, climate and fauna of northern Carbon County. Members from HART were there to learn about the plants that would do well in the newly fenced off area of land which once housed the old Hanna Elementary School.
Perry says the first week in April is when seed starting should occur to be ready for planting in the next few months. The speaker also gave out a table on spring freeze hazard. The chart explained the likelihood of a freeze in the area by month to help gardeners be aware their growing season.
“According to this table, there is a 10 percent chance the temp will drop below 32 degrees,” she said. “There is a 90 percent chance of a 61 day growing season.”
Perry says many vegetables that grow in a 60 day period will be same growing in the 75 day cycle. She got specific about when seeds germinate and should be planted.
“Pick the first two leaves appearing on a plant before you transplant.” Perry said. “Also know what sort of sun the plant needs.”
Perry distributed handouts recommending plants which grow well in the area.
Discussion turned to deer resistant plants because town deer seem to think most yards with flowers are cervine restaurants. Perry suggested several plants deer didn’t usually eat.
Perry has been working with HART since the group first formed a year ago. She has advised the group on horticulture as HART has progressed with their goal of turning a barren landscape into a garden spot.
HART meets the last Tuesday of the month.
Part of HART’s vision is to take the razed school’s land and make it into a place of education for school students and adults.
The first phase was getting 17 plots for individuals to garden fenced. That mission has recently been accomplished.
Rose Dabbs, a member who is acknowledged by other activists of HART as major energy behind the garden, told Perry about wooden pallets acquired that would divide plots.
“We’re coming along,” said Dabbs. “We have a 10 year plan to turn this land into several types of gardens.”
Dabbs hopes to have a succulent garden, an orchard, a rock garden and an enclosed garden dedicated to bringing in bees and butterflies.
“We feel it is important to have gardens for the students to learn from, in addition to being a pretty place to walk.”
HART has spent no money on getting the garden started. Everything has been donated by the community, including time.
Ellen Freeman, another member, has been acknowledged as driving force with her family, to get the garden ready for spring.
“The beds in the garden are 8x4,” said Freeman. “Almost all the plots are spoken for, with three beds going for students.”
Freeman and Dabbs are happy with the community’s response.
“HART was founded by Sterling and Janet Conover, to encourage agriculture in town,” Freeman said. “Rose (Dabbs) was the person who came up with the idea for the garden.”
Dabbs in turn said, “This garden would not be finished the way it is without Ellen (Freeman) and her family. They have done so much.”
Freeman and Dabbs are proud of how the community has supported the efforts and soon the two expect the garden to bloom as a testament to community cooperation.