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Rogue Valley has bounty of community gardens

How many community gardens do we have in the area? Who owns them? How are they run? How much produce from them is given to the local food banks?

— Rhonda R., Medford

Well, Rhonda, there are really too many community gardens in the Rogue Valley to easily count — so we pulled up five of the most noteworthy. One is run by a nonprofit that runs a network of food banks, three by the city of Ashland and one by Southern Oregon University.

ACCESS, which operates 24 food banks in the Rogue Valley, runs the Medford Food Share Garden at 1440 S. Oakdale Ave., in conjunction with Rogue Valley Christian Church to grow produce specifically for distribution through its pantries and other community providers. The garden is staffed entirely by volunteers. If you're interested in helping out, you can call ACCESS at 541-779-6691.

As far as gardens catering to the general public, SOU's Ecology and Sustainability Resource Center operates a garden off South Mountain Avenue between Henry Street and Ashland Street. Membership requires a commitment of four hours a month, an annual water fee of up to $20 based on the size of your plot. For more information, send an email to ecosgarden@gmail.com.

The Ashland Parks and Recreation Department also provides community garden space at Scenic Park, Clay Street Park and Garden Way Park, with plot fees running $29 to $86.50 per lease. A fourth garden at Ashland Creek Park is scheduled to open this spring. To get on the waiting list for a plot, call the Nature Center at 541-488-6606.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.