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Garden-in-a-box giveaway helps beginners to grow their own food

– Susan Grant photo

On a fine spring day last week, 16 people received plants, instructions and inspiration to create a Garden-In-A-Box thanks to members of the Ameliasburgh Garden Club, County Garden Club and the PEC Master Gardeners.

The adults were of varying ages, many of whom were students of the Prince Edward Learning Centre (who took care of the outreach), and had little or no experience in gardening or growing their own food.

The gardeners helped recipients to select plants that would create a balanced container garden: the food they liked to eat, companion planting principles, plus flowers to complement the look and benefit pollinators.

– Lise Bois photo

Some boxes were planted up at the event, while others were taken home to be planted later.

Seedling selections included peppers of varying heat, tomatoes of varying colours, basil (purple or green), thyme, dill, cosmos, alyssum, zinnia, columbine – and more.

– Gemma Barrett photo

“We also demonstrated how to plant seeds and some recipients opted to plant container-friendly bush beans, zucchini and cucumbers, or flowers that would benefit their veggies, such as marigolds and nasturtiums,” said Gemma Barrett, vice-president, Ameliasburgh Garden Club. “Recipients who had outdoor space with some soil also received extra flower seeds to take home for growing in-ground.”

– Gemma Barrett photo

The County Garden Club also provided a rock-painting activity to keep children entertained.

“Plus, several more kids from the playground and surrounding neighbourhood were curious about the plants, so we gave them a few to take home.”

Barrett said organizers were pleased with the event.

“The new gardeners were all pleased with their boxes and excited about starting to garden, plus the quality of the wooden boxes (all built and lined from scratch by volunteers) was greatly appreciated since they’ll be able to re-plant them for years to come. And the interest of the local kids was an additional bonus.”

She hopes that with enough support and resources, next year’s Garden-In-A-Box giveaway will grow.

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  1. Darlene J says:

    Great initiative to promote interest no matter the space which may lead to future efforts to grow food, provide pollination. Thx for the help.

  2. Mike Barnes says:

    Great initiative: simple. effective, low cost, people-powered. Shows you don’t need fancy plans, equipment and big money to grow food.

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