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Community garden will grow food, friendship and education

gardens-4

A community garden pilot project will grow food, friendship and education in 32 beds set up at Delhi Park, in Picton.

The pilot project is a demonstration garden andalready the seed for future gardens in other areas of the County has been planted.

Violet and Noah Blower tend to the gardening on planting day at the Community Gardens at Delhi Park.

Violet and Noah Blower tend to the gardening on planting day at the Community Gardens at Delhi Park.

“We are living in a vegetable and fruit growing area and yet our level of food insecurity is very high here,” said Kevin Bazkur, co-chair of the project. “If this goes well, we can do another. Wellington is already asking for one, maybe two. Peterborough, for example, has 30 community gardens. This is where we start.”

While the municipality is providing use of the land and a community grant for start-up expenses, additional funds have been received from the Green Trust, TD Canada’s Friends of the Environment Foundation and the Awesome Foundation.

Community volunteers will manage, construct and maintain the garden. PEC Master Gardeners will provide an educational component.

The County’s Ben O’Brien, a graduate of the University of Guelph’s Bachelor of Landscape Architecture program, was the project’s designer.

“There is great potential for many different models for the gardens. We start here, see what works and what doesn’t. It’s a learning process and we will be looking at the sizes, structures, what kinds of soil, and will rework as we go.”

Veronica Catry, HPEPH Program Manager and chairperson of the Healthy Communities Partnership, made a presentation about community gardens to PEC council in April last year. Public Health, Vital Signs and municipal staff then worked on a proposal for a community-run pilot project on municipal land, approved by council last November.

“This is a great community effort and it just shows that if you get people involved, and you bring the awareness to them, it will spread,” said Mayor Robert Quaiff, in
attendance on planting day. “This the pilot project and from there it can just spin off into every community.”

The planning committee held public meetings in the spring to bring awareness of the project to the community and recruit volunteers.

Active partners include Community Living Prince Edward, the PEC Master Gardeners, PEC Community Care for Seniors, Community Development Council of Quinte, and interested community members.

The goals of the project are to provide an accessible community garden space for both individuals and groups while creating a sense of community, friendship and improved health through gardening.

Harvest time will help increase access to healthy food for food banks and other local food groups – including Fresh for All, Food to Share and Food Not Bombs. It will be a pesticide free environment with a focus on water conservation and composting.

Members of the Quantum opportunities program will be gardening on lunch hours and after school and will help distribute their harvest to local food programs.

Members of the Quantum opportunities program will be gardening on lunch hours and after school and will help distribute their harvest to local food programs.

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  1. Susan says:

    Awesome work by volunteers!

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