PETERSON COMMUNITY GARDEN
The historic Peterson Community Garden in the Old Town neighborhood is an authentic, living piece of the city’s agricultural history. The property is just shy of an acre and was farmed by longtime Hutto resident, Curtis Peterson, until his death in 2010 at the age of 85. Peterson was part of a long lineage of farmers that immigrated to Hutto, TX from Sweden. What is now known as the Peterson Community Garden was the last property to have livestock on it within the Hutto City Limits. The last of Curtis Peterson’s cows were removed in 2009. (The below photo is courtesy of Mike Fowler.)
In 2011, Curtis Peterson’s remaining land, entrusted to his heirs, was leased to Keep Hutto Beautiful to be used as community garden. From 2011 to 2014, the land was used for gardening plots that individuals could lease.
Through discussion and community feedback, the function of the Peterson Community Garden is changing in order to encompass a larger educational need for Hutto. The Keep Hutto Beautiful Foundation’s vision for the space is to transform it into a series of demonstration gardens and teaching areas, while paying homage to the garden’s namesake, Curtis Peterson. The Monarch Waystation is the first of the demonstration gardens to be created at this location. In addition to garden demonstration areas being worked on, educational sections are also being created that show the history of Swedish farming with the use of Curtis Peterson’s original farm implements.
It's All About Community!
Dempsey Smalls' Eagle Scout Project
Dempsey Smalls the spring of 2019 working on his Eagle Scout Project at the Peterson Community Garden! The project has included two new demonstration areas, plus an expansion to the Monarch Waystation! One of the new demonstration areas is a native lawn grass area to showcase drought tolerant lawn options for this region. The other demonstration area is a vegetable garden which will allow Keep Hutto Beautiful to demonstrate different varieties of vegetables that grow well here in Hutto each season.
Part of the Eagle Scout process is being able to lead others and perform project management. The work that Dempsey is leading out at the Peterson Community Garden will be a great benefit to the entire Hutto Community!
Daisy Troop 45111
The girls in Daisy Troop 45111 have taken on the Peterson Community Garden as a service project and learning opportunity. They are responsible for weeding specific areas of the garden while learning the importance of plant identification. They have also be developed a fairy garden demonstration area which they change out four times a year.
In October 2017, employees from the Hutto Lowe’s store spent the day at the Peterson Community Garden enhancing the future Monarch Waystation garden beds as part of the Lowe’s Heroes program. Stone borders, as well as compost and mulch, were added to three beds as part of the next phase of the Waystation project. The Lowe’s Heroes program’s mantra is “Helping Hutto Love Where We Live,” and gives the store’s employees an opportunity to assist in community projects through donations of both labor and materials. The Lowe's Heroes have since come back to assist with other projects at the Peterson Community Garden, truly becoming an asset to Keep Hutto Beautiful.
The Hutto ISD 18+ H.I.P.P.O. Connect group has started work on an herb garden at the Peterson Community Garden in which they will grow and cultivate culinary herbs. H.I.P.P.O.S Connect serves those students receiving special education services that have met their academic requirements, but still need to develop transition skills. The skills that are developed include money management, social emotional, employ-ability, self determination, time management, and independent living.
Williamson County Master Gardeners
The Master Gardeners division of Williamson County have designated the Peterson Community Garden as one of their approved locations for getting service hours in (which are needed to become a Master Gardener). They have a standing work day each month. The Texas Master Gardener program is an educational volunteer program conducted by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service of the Texas A&M University System.
Garden-Ville Grant Recipient
Keep Texas Beautiful recognized Keep Hutto Beautiful Foundation as a recipient of the 2018 Garden-Ville Materials Grants. Through in-kind materials donations from Garden-Ville, Keep Texas Beautiful provided five affiliate communities with $1000.00 each for materials needed to create and maintain a native plant demonstration garden.
We are working on creating a shade garden to surround our seating area. This is very exciting because this area is being created so that we can host speakers to come and discuss Texas Native Plants, Pruning Techniques, Vegetable varieties, and much more! This speaker series will be made available to the Hutto Community and be free!
Native Garden Grant Recipient
Keep Texas Beautiful recognized Keep Hutto Beautiful Foundation as a recipient of the 2017 Native Garden Grants Program. Through funding from AEP Texas, Keep Texas Beautiful provided six affiliate communities with $800.00 each for support and materials needed to create and maintain a native plant demonstration garden. Keep Hutto Beautiful Foundation utilized the funds to create a Monarch Waystation, the first of the demonstration gardens to be created at the Peterson Community Garden.
Water Infrastructure Waiver
In September 2017, Keep Hutto Beautiful was granted an installation waiver by the City of Hutto City Council for the water infrastructure needed at the Peterson Community Garden.