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Ogden’s Sunflower Community Garden is looking to upgrade

By Ryan Aston - | Mar 27, 2024

Photo supplied, Sunflower Community Garden

An undated picture of the Sunflower Community Garden, located at 1165 E. 30th St. in Ogden.

OGDEN — The stewards of the Sunflower Community Garden — located at 1165 E. 30th St., behind Grounds for Coffee on Harrison Boulevard — are looking to elevate the project as it enters its 15th year of operation.

A crowdfunding campaign was launched earlier this month with a fundraising goal of $5,000, all of which is earmarked for the garden’s restoration.

Founded in 2009 by Dan and Suzy Dailey, who own the coffee shop, the garden came about when plans to create a drive-thru were deemed unfeasible. A pivot was made and the land that was purchased for that purpose was reimagined as a place where locals could come together.

“We thought, ‘How lovely to have a community garden associated with the coffee shop?'” said Suzy Dailey.

However, after years of having to carve out time for the garden’s management, they recently handed the proverbial reins over to Chris and Ally Sandman of I AM Botanicals after a chance encounter at a seed swap, and the couple wants to take the space to a higher level.

While the garden has become a fixture of the community over the years, it’s beginning to show its age.

I AM Botanicals has designs on performing some much-needed maintenance to the garden, making it more accessible for the local community and moving toward self-sustainability, all of which would be in service of a grander goal.

“We have big plans to actually turn this plot, in Sunflower Community Garden, into a nonprofit,” said Chris Sandman.

More immediately, there’s a need to renovate the wooden garden boxes on the site — some of which are rotting away — with extra depth. There also are plans to build elevated garden boxes in order to afford gardeners of all abilities an opportunity to get in on the experience.

The planting of fruit trees and perennials on site is planned, as is the placement of beneficial insects like ladybugs and praying mantises. Last year, 5,000 ladybugs were brought to the garden to help with pollination and fertilization.

Additionally, there’s a need for an updated patio area, irrigation upgrades, 5 cubic yards of soil, a tiller and tools, among other things. To that end, items also will be accepted as donations.

There are approximately 20 plots at the garden, some of which are still available. And as long as renters are respectful of others and the space, they’re allowed to grow what they want.

“We have basic rules, like don’t spray chemical fertilizers, different things like that,” said Ally Sandman. “So, each plotter can do what they want essentially in their own box as long as it matches those rules. … Don’t bring in things that aren’t going to benefit everybody in the garden.”


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