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Disability Action Center NW

Community garden ready to bloom

  • By Kali Nelson, Moscow-Pullman Daily News May 14, 2022 Updated May 16, 2022

The Pullman Community Garden at Koppel Farm is bringing back its annual spring fair and plant sale today after a three-year hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Starting at 10 a.m. at the corner of SE Professional Mall Boulevard and SE Derby Street in Pullman, attendees can browse merchandise and information from the 18 organizations in attendance, enter raffles and learn about gardening.

Tim Paulitz, president of the garden’s board, said while the fair has not taken place the past few springs, the public garden has continued to fill its available plots. Paulitz said there are 100 plots available this year, all are filled, and there is a waiting list in place.

“Over the last two years during COVID, we have had more demand than the last 30 years,” Paulitz said.

The garden features plots of two different sizes, with four reserved annually for local food banks Paulitz said. The plots for the food banks are used to fill the mobile food trucks which go to smaller communities and deliver fresh produce when able.

The garden is run entirely by volunteers. Today’s annual sale helps cover costs like tool repair and city fees, Paulitz said.

Paulitz became involved with the garden when he moved to Pullman and found his yard was small and shaded — not the best for his plans. Paulitz said it was a natural next step to get involved in the garden because his whole life has been surrounded by plants. He even works as a plant pathologist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Barbara Merchant, who does publicity for the garden, said today’s fair should feature food from The Battleground Food Truck based in Moscow, and coffee from Pullman’s Pups and Cups. The fair also will have community groups like the Peace Band, Master Gardeners, the astrology club at Washington State University, and representatives from Disability Action Center NW.

There are three raffle baskets that will have items like gardening tools and gift certificates to local businesses, Merchant said.

Should the weather take a turn for the worse, Paulitz said there are tents ready to keep attendees dry.

The garden is also working to complete its Americans with Disabilities Act accessible garden plot, Paulitz said. The plot will have raised beds and a brick surface for wheelchair access. Disability Action Center NW said in a news release it will be at the open house to show off the progress of the new plot and will have ergonomic, accessible garden tools available for demonstrations.