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Luke AFB community garden open for growing

An Airman assigned to the 56th Fighter Wing examines a ripe pepper in the base community garden, Oct. 9, 2018, at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz.

An Airman assigned to the 56th Fighter Wing examines a ripe pepper in the base community garden, Oct. 9, 2018, at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. The community garden was established to boost morale and provide Airmen with another on-base hobby year round. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Aspen Reid)

An Airman assigned to the 56th Fighter Wing sprinkles seeds into the dirt at the base community garden, Oct. 9, 2018 at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz.

An Airman assigned to the 56th Fighter Wing sprinkles seeds into the dirt at the base community garden, Oct. 9, 2018 at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. The new community garden offers a free 20’ x 20’ plot of land and water source to anyone with a common access card and their dependents. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Aspen Reid)

An Airmen assigned to the 56th Fighter Wing walks to the base community garden plot to tend to crops, Oct. 9, 2018 at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz.

An Airmen assigned to the 56th Fighter Wing walks to the base community garden plot to tend to crops, Oct. 9, 2018 at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. Luke currently has five garden plots, with hopes to expand, that are open to common access card holders who are interested in gardening. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Aspen Reid)

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. --

Lush green foliage expands over its barrier in the free Luke Air Force Base community garden.

The community garden offers the unique experience of being able to grow fresh crops to anyone who holds a common access card and their dependents.

“It’s a good hobby,” said Lt. Col. Paul Fredin, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron commander. “Everybody talks about eating healthy and living organically and this is a good way to do it.”

The new garden has the potential to be an educational experience for children as well as a rewarding one.

“I like for my kids and other people’s kids to see what it’s like to grow your own food and how things don’t always go perfectly,” Fredin said. “It’s rewarding to have something green and growing that you did yourself.”

The garden currently has five plots available, though with expansion, the garden could broaden to 15 plots or more. Plot sizes are 20’ x 20’, there are no plant size restrictions and a free water source is provided. However, there are no permanent structures allowed at this time.

“We would like people from across the base to sign up,” Fredin said. “Its minimal cost to the government, we just scrape the rocks away and mark out the plot. We also provide a source of water and the rest is up to the gardener.”

The community garden is available year round to all who want to join. Located to the west of Kachina Gate and south of Apache St., gardeners are allowed to keep their plot as long they would like. The rules of the garden are simple and as follows; pesticides and herbicides are not allowed, but fertilizer is acceptable.

For more information or to sign up for a garden plot contact Fredin at paul.fredin@us.af.mil or call 623-856-6135.