The Clawson community will soon have its own garden of fresh vegetables.
The city is working with a Royal Oak-based nonprofit to finalize a zero-dollar lease for nearly an acre of land behind the Department of Public Works. Clawson Mayor Penny Luebs said the city hopes to begin planting in early April.
Luebs said a group of community volunteers will work on tilling the land, planting, watering and weeding. Residents will be able to buy shares of the land for one lump sum, which will guarantee them a bag of vegetables each week, she said. Volunteers will sell the vegetables at the Clawson Farmers Market once it opens.
"One of our focuses is on services to the community and what people are interested in," Luebs said. "The (farmers) market has been successful because people want fresh vegetables, we are building on that."
David Baldwin, executive director of Royal Oak Forward, has been helping Clawson with its efforts to start the garden. Baldwin also assists with the Royal Oak Community Farm.
He said the shares the community sells will help fund the operation of the garden. A half share, which feeds a family of two, will cost $425 for May-November, Baldwin said. A half share equates to about $15 per week. A full share, which feeds a family of four, will cost $775 for the season.
Baldwin said he hopes to be able to sell 100 shares.
"We’ve got a lot of work to do," Baldwin said "But we’re really excited about it."
The city's intern, Liz Carnegie, said she has been working with Baldwin and Luebs to plan for the garden since last year. They have been using the Royal Oak Community Farm as a model for Clawson's garden.
Carnegie said a garden will bring the community together and provide fresh vegetables for those residents who can't do their own gardening.
"It's really good for bringing many generations of people together," Carnegie said. "It's really good to see it finally happening."
Carnegie said she hopes the city can continue to planting in the garden through the fall. Ultimately, she said she'd like to see multiple community gardens throughout Clawson.
"I just think it’s a good thing as far as community building," Carnegie said.
If you're interested in purchasing shares, visit the City Farms web site. Baldwin said City Farms in Flat Rock is partnering with Clawson and will also provide some produce for residents who purchase shares. For questions contact Baldwin at 248-798-3460.