Community garden in Wesley Chapel library has wait list for planting

By Leah Masuda, Reporter
Last Updated: Thursday, April 07, 2016, 10:44 AM EDT

If you’re a bookworm and a gardening enthusiast, there’s a place in Pasco County where you can enjoy both.

It’s actually one of the local libraries.

New River Library in Wesley Chapel features the only library-owned community garden in Tampa Bay. It has grown so much in popularity there’s now a wait list.

A few years ago, the county asked the library to find a project it was passionate about.

Judy Curran, Youth Services Provider at the library, says it took her no time at all to come up with the idea. In fact, it's one she had thought about for years.

The initial $1,200 cost of the garden was paid for by the county. Expert help and other donations came from Pasco County Master Gardners, a program in which county gardening enthusiasts can study under county agents and University of Florida specialist to become volunteer master gardeners.

Now, New River Library's community garden is an up-and-running organic garden, almost exclusively watered by rain water that’s collected on-site in large barrels.  

Planting in the garden is free to residents who make a six-month commitment.

“[Gardeners] commit for a six-month timeframe and we provide the garden space, the soil, and it’s up to each individual to supply their own plants and/or seeds," said Curran.

The library likes to experiment with new things, like using hay bales as garden beds. So far, it’s working.

The library says it hopes to expand the garden in the future.