FAIRBURY – After a seemingly endless winter, spring has officially sprung in Nebraska, and there are signs of it all over Fairbury.
Sprinklers are on at the ball fields. Trees are blooming in City Park. The annual city clean-up is underway. Also, gardens are coming back to life.
The 4th Street Greenhouse in Fairbury has been reopened since about Apr. 10. Owner and manager Sharlyn Kroeker says late-April is typically her busiest time.
“This year, there’s no frost in the forecast,” Kroeker said. “So, people are starting to get the courage to plant tomatoes and peppers. Cabbage and broccoli, you can always do in the middle of March or early April.”
Just up the street and around the corner is the Seeds of Youth Hope Garden – a project of the Family and Youth Involvement Center.
Since 2013, the garden has allowed Fairbury’s youth to connect with nature, learn about food growth and share it with their families.
This spring, roughly 45 students from 1st-7th grade get in the garden located at 6th and D Streets every Wednesday afternoon at 4:30. Several high school staff members, like senior Alexia Borch, help out with a variety of after school programs at the FYI Center, including the garden.
“It’s super beneficial,” Borch said, “because (Fairbury) is a farming community I would say. A lot of kids who live in town may not understand the farming things. Kids at the ages we have here get in trouble a lot more, so they come here and they get out of trouble.”
Along with a wide variety of vegetables and flowers, the youth at Fairbury’s FYI Center are also planting fruit trees and shrubs in observation of Arbor Day, which is Friday, Apr. 26.
For many, gardening season is being more welcomed this year than most, due to the high amounts of snow, and floodwater, from this past winter.
“Even people who are old saying they should cut back on tomatoes or how many peppers they plant, I really encourage them to keep planting,” said Kroeker at the 4th Street Greenhouse. “It gets them out of their house, in the sunshine, moving and active. It also gives them emotional satisfaction to grow flowers and produce in their gardens.”
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