* indicates required

Seeds, Soil & Sun

The Idaho Falls Community Garden brings the community together

Published in the March 2023 Issue Published online: Mar 13, 2023 Home And Garden Maudie Heard
Viewed 713 time(s)

Photo Source: Idaho Falls Community Garden Association

As spring begins to blossom, the Idaho Falls Community Garden brings more gardeners together in the community than ever before. From beginners to master gardeners, the community garden unites members through a shared love of gardening.

“We’ve had young ones as little as two in the garden and we’ve had people in their 80s growing gardens,” past president of the association, Kristi Appelhans said. The Idaho Falls Community Garden Association, IFCGA, has been a staple in the community giving members a place to grow flowers, fruit or vegetables since 1995.

The IFCGA is a non-profit organization created to provide a space for gardeners to grow when they don't have the option or opportunity to grow at home. The benefits of gardening are endless from fresh produce to reducing stress to building meaningful relationships.

The most obvious benefit, however, is fresh produce.

“Gardeners get fresh organic food that they know how its been grown, how its been cared for, when it was harvested, the list goes on,” Kristi said. Growing your own fruits and vegetables lets you decide to grow food for yourself and your family using only organic methods and products.

Not only does gardening produce fresh food but it creates a safe haven for many. “It's a time where you can just be where you are and think about what's happening right there in front of you and let some of the other worries or concerns in your life go away for a little bit,” Kristi said. “There is a real sense of renewal people get from being in a garden.”

Gardening boosts your mood and can even improve your overall health. According to a study on, gardening can reduce the risks of certain diseases and strengthen your immune system.

It goes without saying that gardening can be a life-changer, and perhaps the most powerful part of the IFCGA is the way it has brought the community together. “People of all different backgrounds and stories get together and get to share this thing that they love doing, growing stuff,” Kristi said. “It's really a great place for building a sense of being connected with these other people who may be different from me but like to do the same thing that I like to do.”

Members of the garden cherish sharing ideas, sharing techniques and sharing their harvest with other gardeners and the community.

As a beginner, taking up gardening can seem like a challenge, but the association offers free classes to the public that educate them on the fundamentals of gardening. The classes take place in the winter and range from what to plant, when to plant it, soil building and weed control and more.

Although there may be a learning curve (especially for beginners), Kristi emphasizes that the benefits vastly outweigh the challenges.

“One of the benefits of a community garden is that even if you're a brand new gardener, there’s a 100% guarantee that somewhere in your garden is somebody who has been growing for 20 or more years,” she said. “So, you can go to that person and say, ‘I don't know what to do about this, what have you done?’ or you can wander around the garden to look and see what kind of solutions people have come up with for addressing those challenges.”

Despite the age or level of experience of the gardener, the joy is seen and felt the same when a seed sprouts.

“The first year we did our sprouts program, we had a 10-year-old boy in it who had planted some peas and when his peas finally came up, we heard this shout of joy from this kid going, ‘They're here, they're here!’,” Kristi said. “On the other hand, there was once an adult gardener in her 50s and when her zucchini sprouted in the garden she was just as excited as this 10-year-old to see those sprouts emerge out of the soil.”

The community garden has three different locations in Idaho Falls. Registration begins April 1.

For more information about the Idaho Falls Community Garden Association, visit   


Send to your friends!

  • Like what you read?

    Get Idaho Falls Magazine straight to your door!

  • Subscribe Today!

    Sign Up