Take home pizza has a new meaning in Marshfield’s Downtown
By Kris Leonhardt
MARSHFIELD – There is possibly no better pizza than one that is homemade, and only one thing that could improve on that – fresh herbs and tomatoes.
Six years ago, a group of gardeners set out to provide city residents with a take home option for pizza ingredients, creating a pizza garden in the Soo Line Parking lot, near the Elks Club.
“It was at that time a Master Gardener project, but there were not enough volunteer Master Gardeners to really do the work, so the Garden Club stepped up, and said we’ll help you too,” said Gail La Fontaine. “Right now, it is all Garden Club members that are doing this work.”
There are seven ladies who oversee the operations of the Pizza Garden – Joanne Bohman, Gail Butler, La Fontaine, Karen Reyes, Carol Schallock, Shelby Weister, and Kutzie Wing.
“And, we need all seven, because we have haul water in pails since there is no water available,” La Fontaine said. “(We haul it) from our home, in our car, in pails.
“Main Street Marshfield provides the mulch, and we haul it in our wheelbarrows and spread it. Mill Creek Gardens gave us $200 this year for all of our pizza garden plants, and with what was left we bought annuals that are showing up beautifully in the gardens this year.”
She added that the city helps maintain the soil for the garden.
The garden was the concept of La Fontaine, who said that the group wanted to provide an educational experience for local residents, as well as providing fresh products for their kitchen in a help yourself environment.
“Master Gardeners wanted to do more educational projects, so this involved the public, as far as the (original) sign was informing people that we don’t use pesticides; you can eat the tomatoes right off the plant,” she said. “There are no sprays. We wanted to involve the public, as far as an educational project, and let them know that they could harvest anything they wanted.
“And, we want the parking lot to look nice for the Elks too, because some of us are Elks members.”
La Fontaine said that people were hesitant, at first, to partake in the garden. “People didn’t actually believe that they could take it,” she said.
La Fontaine added that the garden is also a social gathering for the seven ladies, as they enjoy the camaraderie and providing something for the community.