Volunteers needed to help community garden wrap up

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Judith Kunkel and Ron Wilkins show off some of the great produce still growing in the community garden.

Judith Kunkel and Ron Wilkins show off some of the great produce still growing in the community garden.

The frost is on the pumpkin and that means the rest of the garden is pretty well done. Volunteers are invited Oct. 15, at noon to help prepare the community garden for winter and next spring and take home any remaining produce.

However, it’s been a good season with volunteer Ron Wilkins logging more than 100 grocery bags of produce delivered to the two soup kitchens, one at the Salvation Army and one at Season’s House.

“We supplied all kinds of produce, peas, beans, marrow, kale, zucchini, cauliflower and anything else that was in season,” Wilkins said.

He lives just up the lane from the community garden and loves to wander down every week to join the other Wednesday volunteers in the care and maintenance of the plot.

“It’s a great place to spend time away from the TV and life in a third floor apartment,” Wilkins said.

Women’s Resource Centre board member and garden volunteer Maureen Trotter said she has a garden at home but prefers to be at the community garden.

She’s watched the project grown from just an idea to a thriving enterprise.

“With donations we now have fruit trees, raspberries and even grapes,” she said.

“There’s a few edible flowers to greet visitors and volunteers, a herb garden, a sandbox for the children, benches and a picnic table. We often find people sitting here having lunch or just enjoying gazing at the garden.”

Trotter added there’s a strong, solid group of volunteers who came every Wednesday but they could always use a few more.

“We really appreciated master gardener Ellen Boutotte’s expertise,” she said.

“I know I learned a lot from her.”

The garden also boasts a great compost system, thanks in part to Victor Johnson’s contribution of compost.

“The public can come and contribute their plant and yard waste to the compost by dumping it over the fence into the bin,” Trotter said.

“Just not any animal products.”

Judith Kunkel has recently been hired by the WRC as project coordinator to help take the garden to the next level through various funding options.

“We want a gazebo, somewhere for visitors and volunteers to rest and get out of the sun or the rain,” she said.

Kunkel appreciates the restful nature of the garden and says there are many excellent aesthetics already in place.

“It’s like a working park,” she said.

The community garden is a place where experienced and first-time gardeners can get their hands dirty, learn about planting, growing, harvesting, even seed-saving as well as feeding fresh, local produce to themselves and their families.

So if you have a little time on Saturday, drop by the community garden behind QJSS, around noon, lend a hand and you just might take home dinner.