Left to right: Jimmy Maddalon, Linda Vogel, and Adam Graham

Santa Barbara residents itching to put their green thumbs to use can now do so on two acres of community garden land behind Trinity Lutheran Church on La Cumbre Road.

Interested gardeners are welcome to take part in the collaborative effort to bring some extra green to the area by either applying for an individual plot or helping with the communal area. The venture, which kicked off March 3, has seen a lot of enthusiastic public interest so far, and there are big plans for more growth.

Trinity Gardens is divided into 40 public plots of 200 square feet. They’re available to adult residents of Santa Barbara, Goleta, Carpinteria, and the unincorporated areas of south Santa Barbara County. Growers can harvest the crops of their choice, and the plots cost a flat fee of $100 that covers all maintenance expenses like water, use of tools, and so on. The communal area is used to grow food for the less fortunate — distributed through Food From The Heart — and for the Trinity Gardens Farmers Market stand.

Phase 1 of Trinity Gardens

Judy Sims, committee chair, joined forces with horticulturist and City College instructor Adam Graham to start the venture. The two are both members of Trinity Lutheran Church and had similar visions for the big plot of untapped land behind their place of worship.

“It became a place where people could create a garden who didn’t have [their own space],” said Sims, also a teacher. “The garden itself is designed to be a very secure and supportive environment.” Sims explained that the garden is in the first of what is hoped will be three phases. They plan to eventually — as Trinity Gardens expands with time and donations — add a larger orchard area, as well as a multiuse grass area for Easter egg hunts, a pumpkin patch, and a Christmas tree lot.

The garden, said Sims, will stay prosperous with assistance from students and other community members. She said dozens of high school students have already utilized the opportunity as a way to give back and rack up volunteer hours. A large project scheduled for St. Patrick’s Day will bring in a large group of Cal Lutheran students to construct a split-rail fence around the orchard.

Trinity Gardens will have a grand opening celebration on Sunday, March 11 from 11:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. with live music, tours, food, speakers, and other garden-related activities.


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