West Village Community Garden members harvest last year’s crops. Photo submitted

West Quesnel’s West Village Community Garden hosting Plant Day May 25

Community members invited to come help plant vegetables and learn about the garden

Members of the West Village Community Garden are getting ready to put all their plants in the ground and get growing, and they’re hoping to see many community members come out to help.

The West Village Community Garden is hosting a Plant Day Saturday, March 25, starting at 10 a.m. at 325 Lewis Dr. Maureen Trotter, a members of the garden’s co-ordinating committee, says they usually have lunch when they are finished planting, including salad featuring the greens that are already up in the garden.

Participants have been growing organic, high-quality food at the West Village Community Garden on Lewis Drive since 2013.

Everyone works together to maintain the garden throughout the season and then shares the harvest.

“The people who are involved in the community garden have meetings and make decisions, so there’s a co-ordinating committee, and then it goes from there, and people come and work together, and whatever is ripe and harvestable gets shared out between the people who are at the workbee, and usually, there’s one or two workbees every week,” said Trotter.

The Grace Young Activity Centre is part of the garden and comes on Mondays.

“There’s a good-size composting system in there as well so everybody around can bring their kitchen waste and dump it in there, and we turn it into soil,” said Trotter. “We take grass clippings and yard waste, so we divert quite a bit from the dump, for sure.”

Trotter says they have about eight people on their co-ordinating committee, and they probably have 20-30 people for Plant Day every year.

“The idea is to come down and meet some of the people and see if you might be interested in helping out and getting the seedlings in,” said Trotter. “People have been working there already, but we usually pick a late day in May and get everything put in.”

Trotter says they have a Plant Day and a Harvest Day each day, and they usually have a committee that starts seedlings ahead of time. They use the College of New Caledonia greenhouse most years to do that, and they have a small greenhouse at the community garden.

“Apparently, the price of groceries, of vegetables especially, are getting quite high, so it’s a really good way for people to figure out how to be a little more food self-sufficient and learn to grow some basic vegetables,” said Trotter. “There are all kinds of benefits of a community garden, for sure. It’s a nice spot to look at, it attracts birds, and it’s a way to get involved with people in your community, it’s a way to eat better and a way to learn new skills.”

Trotter says the community garden provides food for members, but it is also a nice place to relax. There is a gazebo and lots of kids’ toys to keep children entertained.

The West Village Community Garden also owns some food preservation equipment that people can borrow, which is stored at the North Cariboo Aboriginal Family Program Society. The society has been very supportive, providing meeting space for the co-ordinating committee and printing their brochures, and Trotter says, sometimes, their Moms and Tots group comes to the garden.

Trotter says they have received a lot of community support over the years from the City of Quesnel, the Rotary Club of Quesnel, West Fraser, the Quesnel Community Foundation and many other groups. Telus comes every year to help with Plant Day and purchases items they need, such as hand tools and fruit trees, she noted.

For more information about the West Village Community Garden, look for their Facebook page.

READ MORE: Harvest time at West Quesnel Community Garden

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