Amy and Jesse Stearn are opening a community garden here on the Russian River. This is big news for all of us here in the redwoods because many people do not have any sunlight at their homes due to the gorgeous trees that surround us. This will give everyone the opportunity to have a beautiful garden full of vibrant veggies, fruits and flowers. The plots are $35 per month and they include a locked gate, all the water that your garden can drink and hours of direct sunlight every day!
How It Began…
This friendly couple and their family of three small children and their dog Bailey had put down roots and settled in Utah content and happy with their lives. Little did they know that a weekend trip to the Russian River would have them upending their lives and moving to the small town of Monte Rio! On their trip they saw the property and all of the natural beauty of the area and simply fell in love with all of it, so they decided to move here. In 2013 they bought the double parcel and began creating a life for themselves here on the Russian River. They had a well installed in the parcel where the community garden is so that they could put in a Cider Apple orchard. Once the well was in full working order Amy and Jesse realized that they had way more water and space then they needed so they decided to share what they had with the Russian River community. They offer a place where the people who are not fortunate enough to have sunlight can go and plant their own garden making gardening an option for the community at large.
“We are fortunate enough to be able to afford a large property and we want to share it. We don’t want to be one of those families that buys a big property and then hides out. Besides that, we like being in this community. Hopefully down the road we will be able to expand the garden and maybe have community events, music or a farmers market here.” ~Amy & Jesse Stearn
Russian River Gardens is located off of 116 just outside of town in Monte Rio. Each plot has two 4 foot by 20 foot raised garden beds with Nursery Mix soil that is rich with nutrients. Each plot has it’s own water spigot and fence with a gate so it can be locked. All 20 plots are in direct sunlight and the raised beds keep out wildlife such as gophers. Each plot costs only $35 per month and that is all…there are no hidden fees and anyone can garden.
The garden is fully organic helping it to blend with it’s natural surroundings causing very little impact on the earth. One reason why is that the Stearn family does not use pesticides on their garden and do not want them on their Cider Apple orchard. They believe that pesticides are not necessary and there are so many alternatives that they see no reason why anyone would need to use them. Another consideration that they had was the preference of those who are gardening. They didn’t know who would be planting and what their beliefs about pesticides would be and they didn’t want the chemicals blowing over onto someone else’s garden unintentionally and causing trouble. So no pesticides and any organic sprays must be approved before application to protect the integrity of the community garden.