DALTON GARDENS - Saturday turned out to be a splendid day for gardening and cruising yard sales.
At the Roots CSA garden project near Dalton Elementary School on Davenport Street, there was a bit of both of the spring weekend pastimes.
There was some laboring in the community garden, which will be used by about 30 shareholders of the project to grow fruits and vegetables for people in the community.
And there was some rummaging and great deals at the yard sale, which is a fundraiser for the garden.
Doug and Ginger Berney of Hayden were there to score some great priced items.
Doug Berney bought some fertilizer, a bicycle bag, and a Shop-Vac.
"He loves his yard sales," Ginger Berney said. "It's a good cause."
Doug Berney said people need to grow their own food if they can. It's better quality.
Citing recent reports of contaminated food in Europe, he said, "If you have it out here, you know what you get."
In addition to the piece of mind that comes with locally and personally grown foods, he said, "This is where I can afford to shop."
Korrine Kreilkamp, Roots CSA coordinator, said the CSA (community supported agriculture) model connects a farmer and the community.
"People are waking up to the importance of food supply," she said. "There's a lot of community gardens popping up right now."
At Roots CSA, a group of community supporters pay money in the spring, and the farmer commits to providing them with a box of healthy, sustainably grown food every week throughout the growing season from the nearly one-acre garden.
"If falls right in line with the value system" of Kootenai Environmental Alliance, the garden's nonprofit sponsor, she said.
Two neighbors lease their land for the garden.
Demand is high for shared gardening. There's a waiting list of 50 families who want to take part, she said.
Susan Selle, lead farmer, said shareholders love getting good produce that's not sprayed with chemicals.
It's also a family oriented place, where kids get to learn about the food they eat, she said.
"You can bring your family back to the Earth," Selle said.
She loves working hard in the dirt, planting a wide range of vegetables.
"It's kind of like art. You do what you want as you go," Selle said.
Kreilkamp said, "We've kind of gotten away from labor."
She said lower-income "people get tired of the handouts."
People of limited means get produce at a discounted rate.
For kids, there's a lot to learn. Students from the elementary school just planted pumpkins at the garden this past week.
"The seed is a fascinating thing," she said. "This helps kids understand food in a different way."
Information: Korrine Kreilkamp, (208) 659-0287
Susan Selle, lead farmer, hammers in a stake at the Roots CDA community garden Saturday. A yard sale there Saturday raised funds for the garden.