Just like a seed, this Partnership Garden took some time to germinate. In 2008, Pat Schoenecker began searching for community collaborators, partners and land to start an Apple Valley community garden. After two years of meetings and presentations across a wide spectrum of potential allies and partners - the City of Apple Valley, various businesses, churches, schools, and community groups - Pat presented the idea for a community garden to the faculty at the School of Environmental Studies (SES) in March of 2010. The SES faculty enthusiastically supported this garden precisely because it was planned to be a partnership between a group of community volunteers (called Growing Community) who would lead the development and operation of the garden while the School would use the garden as an educational opportunity for its students. The Partnership Garden found a home!
On October 16, 2010, over forty community volunteers and SES students came together to prepare the plot of land adjacent to the wind turbine that would be our garden the following spring. The garden bed was sheet mulched with cardboard boxes, manure, straw and compost and topped with a planting of red clover seed. Six foot fencing was placed around the perimeter of the garden to deter deer, rabbits and other of nature's intruders. As we concluded our work, we spotted an eagle circling round and round, high over our new circle garden bed.