Blandford Nature Center Community Gardens

a guest post by Tammy

The snow may be piling up outside (or not…depending on the day), but inside I’m dreaming of gardening! Like a lot of my neighbors in Grand Rapids, our house is on a narrow, shaded plot, not suited to gardening. Last summer was our first year to garden at Blandford, and we already have our application in for next year! It was a great experience and we can’t wait to start all over again.

Each 8’ x 25’ plot is $40 for the season. The initial tilling is done for the gardeners (though if you rent a plot you really must get out there and work it again, the weeds grow fast and furious). There is easy access to water, and a shed for community tools such as a wheelbarrow, kneeling pads, watering cans, hand tools and hoes and shovels. The garden has a strict organic policy. Make sure you read the specifics, as well as download an application.

Last year we decided to start small with just one plot. “Just” one plot turned out to be perfect for our family of three. Some of our neighboring gardeners were more diverse with their vegetables, but we decided on mostly tomatoes and green beans for canning, with smaller amounts of peppers, cherry tomatoes, salad greens and sugar peas.

Not only did we have the benefits of organic, fresh produce, we got outside more than we ever have since moving to Michigan. My daughter loved going to the garden, digging in the dirt, and “helping” us. At the top of her list for each and every visit was to say “hello” to the chickens, which are owned by the school on the property.

grand rapids community garden

Our family loved the experience, and we are quite anxious to get our hands in the soil again!


Tammy has lived in Grand Rapids for nearly 7 years, and is a wife and stay at home mom. She enjoys learning new ways to save money, crafting, and cooking.

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This blog is for educational purposes only. The information provided by Donielle, or any contributor, is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition. If you are seeking medical advice, please search out a qualified health practitioner.

About donielle

Donielle is a natural momma of two, lover of real foods, and owner and editor of Grand Rapids Natural Living and Naturally Knocked Up. You can usually find her in the kitchen whipping up some nourishing foods, cuddled on the couch reading books to the littles, avoiding the laundry and Mt. Saint Dishes, or tapping away on the laptop. Her husband puts up with her sometimes crazy "hippie" ways, but loves her regardless. Welcome to my home away from home.