Marianne Shannon works in her plot at the Patagonia Community Garden. Photo by Mary Sky Schoolcraft

News Release

Are you aware of the treasure we have in our midst? A place of beauty, sanctuary, repose, and organic gardening? The Patagonia Community Garden, located on 4th Ave., has been serving the community for over 25 years. And it’s available to anyone in the community who wants to join! It’s a place to meet your neighbors and grow friendships, to make connections in our community.

For only $5 per month/per container, you can join the Garden. You don’t need to be an experienced gardener. Water, compost, and tools are provided, and the Garden has many metal containers for organic gardening, an irrigation system, and composting area – as well as room for in-the-ground gardening of sprawling squash and melon vines. Garden members not only enjoy the fruits of their labor, they get to enjoy the harvest of our heirloom fruit trees – apples, pears, Asian pears, and peaches. Even if you’re not interested in growing your own organic veggies or flowers, there are many other ways you can participate in the Garden. Volunteer a few hours to help with garden maintenance, hauling, repairing stuff, pruning and more. Help plant some new native perennials, whack a weed, or help build new container beds. We’re adding perennials and native plants (and welcome donations of plants from your home garden. Or, if you’d like, donate a nice commemorative bench in honor of someone you love. There are so many ways to be involved.

The Garden has a great infrastructure with a covered pavilion, cisterns, greenhouse, huge stone columns, a sacred center garden honoring Our Lady and the Buddha, several varieties of roses and fruit trees, a picnic area with huge cement table (suitable for gathering large families or friends), and benches located in quiet shady areas.

The Garden has come a long way from its beginning as a vacant lot. In the 1990s Kate Tirion developed the space to grow food for the community. She passed the torch to Martha Kelly and Janet Winans, who co-managed the garden from 2006 until Janet’s death a few years ago. 

Over the decades, many Patagonians have contributed their time and energy to care for the garden and reap the benefits of organically grown vegetables, flowers and friendships. Kelly recently welcomed David Fain and Mary Sky Schoolcraft as co-managers, who are bringing renewed energy to the garden – and tackling a few years’ worth of deferred maintenance. John Hughes, Joni Stellar, Rick Kulibert, Dave Carley, Catherine Libscomb, Nancy Roberts, Marianne Shannon, Katherine Morrow, and James Spicer are also working in the garden.

The Garden is a 501 (3)c nonprofit, and almost everything in the garden is done by volunteers, from getting compost to ongoing maintenance and planting. It’s too big a job for any one person and relies on you, the members of the community, to help it survive and thrive, to renew and refresh. So, whether you’re a longtime resident or a new resident looking to get involved in the community, a seasoned gardener or an aspiring gardener wanting to learn, young or older, working or retired, we have a space for you here in this oasis of Nature. 

To volunteer or reserve yourself a space in the garden, please contact David Fain at or Mary Sky Schoolcraft at