By Lea Johnson
21st Space Wing Public Affairs staff writer
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Right now it’s just a patch of dirt, but in a few months the garden beds at Peak View Park, across the street from the Commissary and Base Exchange, will be brimming with vegetables.
When 1st Lt. Elizabeth Enyart, Air Force Space Command protocol operations officer, heard about the garden, she wanted to make sure this year there would be a harvest. “We actually have had a community garden here, but it hasn’t been utilized. They built it last year, people signed up for it, but it was never used,” she said. “We’re just going to go ahead and get started this year, that way we don’t have to worry about it not getting planted.”
The community garden consists of 10 raised beds, each about four feet by six feet.
To make the gardening as easy as possible, Enyart has enlisted several volunteers to donate time and supplies, including organic fertilizer, seeds and gardening tools. Les Stewart, special programs manager at the Peterson Sports and Fitness Center, has volunteered to water the beds every day.
“It’s a community garden; we don’t want to limit it to one community. What I’d like to do is shoot out an email to the squadron superintendants, see who’s interested, and then one weekend we’ll come and (plant) everything,” Enyart said. Depending on weather, planting will take place in late April or early May.
After the garden is planted, Enyart said she will need volunteers to pull weeds once a week during their lunch hour, after work or on the weekend. “It could be a unit team building thing too,” she said.
Among the produce being planted, Enyart said it will be vegetables that thrive in the Colorado climate. “We’re looking at tubers, beans, zucchini, pumpkin and squash. Beans are pretty hard to kill. Peas also grow really well. Radishes, carrots, turnips, parsnips and, of course, lettuce,” she said.
The first harvest should be ready the first half of June, and produce should continue to grow into October, all contingent on the weather.
The produce will be available for anyone with base access to take and use, Enyart said. “Military, civilian — anyone who wants to partake can.”