River City Harvest offers spring gardening and planting advice

GREAT FALLS — If you plan to get out and garden this spring, the folks with River City Harvest (link) in Great Falls are a good source of information.

Treasurer Janel Kresowski is an avid gardener.

“It’s so relaxing. The garden is a happy place. You can just come and kind of lose yourself in the dirt and the plants and it’s such a good feeling when you get to harvest,” Kresowski said when asked why he likes gardening.

River City Harvest is a nonprofit that oversees several gardens in Great Falls, including Park Place Garden where the interview for this story took place.

If you’re wondering what to grow, you’ve got a range of options.

“There’s very few things that I haven’t been able to grow. We’ve had people who have actually grown artichokes here, which I would say could never be but they have beautiful artichokes. It depends on the season,” said Kresowski.

If you want some more specific information, River City Harvest President Janice Driver suggests checking out Montana State University Extension’s guides.

“There’s two of them that I particularly like. One is ‘Can I grow this here?’ and the other is ‘Growing a successful vegetable garden,'” said Driver.

The guides can be found online, at extension offices, and during the growing season at places where you can buy seeds.

At Park Place Garden, garden plots can be rented. To inquire about renting a plot, contact Kresowski at 406-868-1624 or 406-453-1155.

“The plots are all at least 300 square feet and the cost is $70 a season for the plot unless the plot has, or you wish to have, a drip irrigation system and then it’s $60. We buy our own water from Park Place’s owner and it’s less with a drip system,” Driver said.

Garden plots became available April 1.

Crops that do well in cool weather can be planted before the last expected hard frost, which is about May 15. Crops that don’t do well in cool weather should be planted after that.

When asked what her favorite thing to grow is, Kresowski couldn’t pick just one.

“Everything,” Kresowski said with a laugh.

On April 15, River City Harvest will hold a gardening workshop focused on developing gardens for nutrient-dense food. It will be at the Great Falls Salvation Army building at 1000 17th Avenue South from 1-4 pm Admission is $40.

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