Both community gardens, the downtown garden behind the junior high school and the West Village garden on Lewis Drive, by the outdoor rink, had a successful season last year. They produced a lot of healthy, organic food for the garden participants and excess produce was donated to community groups and community kitchens. Food preserving workshops were held to pass on skills to those interested in eating good food past the harvest season.
The gardens were also successful in obtaining a small grant from Community Futures to purchase a pressure canner, juicer and dehydrator for a lending library. Anyone interested in preserving food can borrow this equipment, free of cost, at the North Cariboo Aboriginal Family Programs Society at 324 Hoy Street. Some instructions are also included with the equipment.
Both gardens also have composting systems where the community can divert their lawn and kitchen wastes. There are signs at each location about where to dump waste and what can be composted.
This spring, volunteers from both community gardens enjoyed the great weather in the CNC campus greenhouse, producing seedlings in preparation for planting in the gardens. Some extras were sold at Seedy Saturday in April.
The West Village Community garden invites the community to come out to Plant Day on May 30 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Get out in the fresh air, meet the neighbours, learn about planting vegetables and join in the healthy meal provided by the garden coordinating committee. A shout out the Telus employees who have been coming out every year to help at the official start to the season.
Both community gardens would like to encourage anyone interested in learning to garden, anyone who would like to improve their access to affordable high quality nutritious food and would like to meet new people, to come and get involved in one of the gardens. The gardens ask that participants volunteer most of their time (around 16 – 20 hours for the year) early in the season when weeding and watering are most needed. This entitles people to share in the harvest of the veggies and fruit as they are ready. The scheduled work bee times are posted on the boards at the gates at both gardens.
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