Luau at Marysville’s new community gardens

A Hawaii luau is the theme for a 2 p.m. potluck and dedication at Marysville’s new Community Garden. The pea-patch gardens are located a quarter mile north of Getchell Road on 67th. This year’s gardeners will be happy to show their plantings to visitors interested in signing up for next year’s growing season.

Beans and corn are ready. Early zukes are past prime and tomatoes are coming on. The gardens, officially dubbed Wilcox Farm Community Gardens, were once home to longtime Marysville resident Bly Wilcox. Following Bly’s untimely death, Bethehem Lutheran Church found it had been bequeathed the farm and other acreages to his church.

But there was a proviso. The land was to be used as a site for an educational project in keeping with the mission of his church—a generous gift with challenging conditions attached. Having just undergone a major expansion, another major project would have to be put off into the future. It seemed for a time that Trinity College, now located in downtown Everett, might settle on the site but Trinity found a better in the building that once housed Everett’s Bon Marche.

The gift needed to honored by putting the land to a temporary use that Bly Wilcox would have approved. Soccer fields were a really good idea that would have called for a considerable investment. Community pea-patch gardens? Yes! The time was right. The economic down-turn had families eager to grow their own groceries. Parks departments of most cities were offering small plots to gardeners in a movement that was sweeping the nation. With increasing numbers of green thumbs cooped up in apartments and condos there would be no shortage of takers.

The Wilcox property was a natural. Good sandy-loam soil, flat, easy parking, a barn for storage, a well. A team of volunteers from Bethlehem Lutheran tilled enough land for sixty-eight garden patches with broad walkways between. The church re-habbed an old well, brought in power and ran pipes to faucets at the gardens’ edge. Pacific Topsoils contributed a dump of high-grade topsoil. The YMCA contributed 20 yards of gravel for a parking area. With backing from Marysville’s Parks Department and the YMCA the project had a firm foundation. Corners for plots were staked and an invitation to gardeners published.

This year’s gardeners and visitors will be welcomed at the pot-luck luau. The gardens lie in the property immediately north of the school entrance, north of Getchell Road on 67th. Time and date are 2 p.m. on Aug. 30.

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