Community garden grows friendships

BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — Fruits and veggies are in full bloom and local community members are working hard to ensure a good harvest this fall, especially at our local community gardens which help feed the many neighborhoods in our state.

The Community Gardens in Bismarck are almost ready for harvest.

Community members spend their days watering plants and pulling weeds in preparation for plucking the produce when fall arrives.

Some growers expect it will be about a week before their fruits and veggies are ready.

“We’ll have beans in probably about 10 days, and zucchini we’ll probably have in four days, and tomatoes we’ve been taking a few off,” said Lee Johnson, a local gardener.

Johnson and his friend Ben Kincaid have been growing produce at the community garden for three years now.

Johnson explained how the garden is about more than just the product they pluck.

“He gets his watering and weeding and he gets to talking to you know shooting the breeze with everybody and it’s really good for him, It’s just a good thing, you get to eat what you’re working on,” said Johnson.

Johnson and Kincaid are not the only ones who enjoy the community growing around the garden.

“This one’s called the Bismarck Community Garden, and I think there’s several of them around Bismarck. But, nestled right in the middle of it it says ‘community’, and I think one of the things I’ve loved is actually meeting new people that I’ve never met before,” said Jim Ellis, a new member of the community garden.

Ellis, a first-time grower, has also learned tips and tricks from his plot pals on how to weed and water his garden properly.

Ellis decided to take a different route with his roots and he grew flowers instead of produce.

So, in exchange for the lessons, Ellis’s garden has brought in more bees that have helped with the pollination around the community garden.

However, the flowers mean a lot more to Ellis and his family than just being pretty pollen producers.

“Our garden is called Tova’s Garden,” said Ellis.

Tova is the name Ellis and his wife gave their baby who tragically passed before birth.

“So Tova’s garden is really a way to bring beautiful things into the world in memory of her and we keep some for ourselves to brighten our day or give them away to friends and family and other people to brighten their days,” explained Ellis.

Community gardens aren’t just about sprouting seeds. They’re also about growing a bond with the people around you.

Bismarck Community Gardens are open until Sunday, October 9. To register for your own plot, visit

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