Dig out the trowels, it’s gardening time

Quesnel's two community gardens are gearing up for the season

  • May. 21, 2014 2:00 p.m.

This pint-sized gardener is patiently waiting for the seeds the sprout. Soon enough Quesnel will be in the midst of the growing season and the two community gardens are no exception.

On Saturday, May 31 at noon, the West Village Community Garden on Lewis Dr. beside the skating rink, will be ready for planting and everyone is  invited to come and pitch in.

Last year, the garden’s first year, was a resounding success. Lots of labour from a wide range of people and the continued maintenance by a group of regulars resulted in a bountiful harvest of fresh produce throughout the growing season. This month a dedicated group has been working on Monday afternoons to dig compost into the beds to get the garden ready for planting. As well, a small group of volunteers has been working at the greenhouse behind the college to produce seedlings for both the original downtown and the West Village gardens.

At 2 p.m., a dedication of a peace pole will take place at the West Village garden Plant Day. The peace pole project is a worldwide initiative to plant peace poles as monuments to peace in as many communities as possible. More than 180 countries have peace poles erected. They serve as constant reminders for us to visualize and pray for world peace. In the West Village garden, the pole will have English, Carrier, Punjabi and Chinese languages to reflect the languages of the garden participants. Thanks to the Rotary Club for funding this initiative.

A late lunch will be provided on Plant Day to help the workers keep up their strength. Swings and a play area will keep children who are not yet interested in planting seeds occupied. Telus workers will be coming to plant donated fruit trees and shrubs. The regular garden group will be there and new participants are most welcome.

A coordinating collective has been meeting once a month to make decisions about the West Village garden and the on-going work bee times set for the season will be Monday afternoons, 1 – 3 p.m., Thursday mornings, 9 – 11:30 a.m. starting mid-June and Saturday afternoons from 1 – 3 p.m.  The collective’s names are listed on the garden shed; if there is anyone who would like to participate and cannot come at any of these times, let someone from the collective know how you can be accommodated.

The original Quesnel Community Garden, downtown behind QJS and beside the Aboriginal Education building, is also gearing up for the new growing season. The plant day is the Saturday before the West Village garden’s, noon, May 24. The regulars are getting ready for it at the Tuesday morning work bees, from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. And the downtown community garden will also be planting peace poles in the near future.

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. And in case you have already forgotten all the scheduled work bee times, they are posted on the boards at the gates at both gardens.

Another initiative by participants from both community gardens that you will hear more about a little later, is a series of seven workshops about preserving food for the winter. Information about these workshops can be found on-line on the West Village Community Garden Facebook page.  Or for more information, e-mail westvillagecommunitygarden@gmail.com

A last reminder – both gardens have community composting systems that accept garden and yard wastes, another way to contribute to the fertility of the gardens and avoid adding to the land fill. A sign on the compost opening in the fence at the West Village garden lists all the good things that can be added.

– Submitted by Maureen Trotter

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