SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — Thinking about having your own garden to raise fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers?

The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) is seeking individuals or families who are interested…

“Over the past couple of years we have seen people take an interest in growing their own food,” said IDOA Director Jerry Costello II. “We are excited to provide a large number of plots to allow residents, whether they are expert gardeners or just starting out to plant and harvest healthy, locally grown foods.”

The Illinois Department of Agriculture’s Community Garden is located on the infield of the Illinois State Fair Grandstand racetrack and features 200 garden plots. Of those plots, 100 are designated for organic gardening, and the remaining 100 plots are assigned for non-organic gardeners.

Each plot costs $20 and can be tilled for an additional $20. The Department will supply water and compost free of charge.

There will be an orientation meeting for new gardeners on Feb. 24 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.. Gardeners who had a plot last year may drop off their application any time between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. but need not attend the orientation meeting. 

Anyone interested in participating in the 2022 growing season is encouraged to fill out a garden application and COVIS Addendum and Release on the IDOA website.

Completed applications and payments can be returned by mail or to the front desk at the Illinois Department of Agriculture at the John R. Block Building, Attention: Community Garden, 801 E. Sangamon Ave. Springfield, IL 62794.

The Community Garden will open on Mar. 13.

To receive more information about this year’s Community Garden, visit the IDOA website or contact the Department at (217) 785-8300.