Department Head
Hannah Sanger

Department Address
911 N. 7th Ave.
Pocatello, ID 83201
208-234-6518
 
 
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THE CHARLOTTE'S GARDEN PROJECT


On June 28, 2012, the Charlotte wildfire raced through the Mink Creek and Gibson Jack areas of Pocatello, Idaho, destroying 66 homes and damaging many additional homes and properties. We've always been an extended neighborhood of gardeners, growing everything from gorgeous Golden Arrow Award-winning landscapes, to substantial vegetable gardens with elaborate home-made terracing and boxes, to modest patches that provided color and home-grown food and attracted hummingbirds and butterflies to our mountainsides and canyons.


The Charlotte's Garden Project, conceived by two next-door neighbors (one lost her house and garden; the other was luckier), invites fellow gardeners in Eastern Idaho (and beyond) to help us regenerate our land. Participating involves only a little time and effort, and minimal expense.


We're asking our gardening neighbors to save seeds from their plantings through the summer and fall this year and pass them on to those impacted by the fire. We'll inform our neighbors who suffered damage about what's donated and invite them to gather for a seed sharing day in the early fall, when they can collect free seeds and either plant them before the fall rains (if appropriate for the variety) or save them for spring planting. We're hoping to receive perennial, biennial, wildflower, and annual (especially self-seeding annual) flower seeds, along with vegetable seeds. That way, people who have lost beloved plantings can begin to plan spring gardens again and in some cases comfort themselves with the knowledge that fall-sown seeds are sleeping and gathering strength on their scorched property - knowledge that will certainly cheer their hearts as they face the coming winter.

 
HERE'S WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP US

Save and harvest seeds from your garden. Please note that seeds for harvest should be left on the plant to dry (do not, for example, cut poppy or hollyhock pods until they are brown and dry). If you aren't sure about when your particular flower or vegetable seeds will be ready to harvest, Google “seed saving” or “seed harvesting” with the plant name - there is lots of good advice on-line about this. See a list of ideal varieties for fall sowing in Southeast Idaho below.

   
Ideal Flower Varieties for Fall Sowing in Southeast Idaho
 
   

Place each variety in a separate plain white envelope, and label each one with the kind of flower and its color, or the kind of vegetable (ideally with the specific type: e.g. “Peas, Oregon Sugar Pod”). If what you're sending has particular sentimental interest, it might be nice to note that briefly on the envelope too.

   

Get your seeds to us by either dropping them off at a collection box in the lobby of the Marshall Public Library, Portneuf District Library OR mailing them to:

Idaho State University
Mail Stop #8230
Charlotte's Garden Project
Pocatello, ID 83209

 

We'll be collecting seeds from now through the early fall, letting fire-touched residents know what is available, and providing hints on planting. Whenever your contributions are ready, please send them to us. If we receive biennial seeds soon, perhaps people can begin planting even before fall.


If you're not sure what flowers and vegetables grow best in our area, see the Town and Country Gardens and Pinehurst Floral websites, which are full of great information (www.tcgardens.com or www.pinehurstfloral.com). Information on harvesting and saving seeds is readily available on the web; two good sites are www.flowergardennews.com and Harvesting Flower Seeds to Save.

 

The Charlotte's Garden Project is NOT set up to accept money or checks. Please send us ONLY seeds.

 
Questions? Please contact Hannah Sanger at or Susan Swetnam.
 
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