Friday, July 31, 2015

Kids’ garden club returning

The Kids’ Garden Club will be back for a second year at the Fort Frances Community Garden—and youths of all ages are invited to sign up.
“It seemed to go very well last year and we wanted to continue with that,” noted Jolene Quast, a health educator with the Northwestern Health Unit and member of the garden’s planning committee.

She said each child will purchase a kids’ plot in the garden for $5, which is a third of the size of a regular plot (10x20 feet).
Quast added each child will get to choose and grow their own vegetables, which they then will take care of, in addition to participating in fun weekly activities focusing on various gardening-related topics.
Starting June 4, the club will meet every Wednesday from 5-6 p.m. (weather permitting) at the community garden, which is located on Lillie Avenue North between Fifth Street West and Sixth Street West.
“I think it’s a lot of fun for the kids—and they learn a lot,” stressed Quast, noting she has some exciting activities planned, such as making a seed “bomb” (like a bath “bomb”) which they can plant, having a scavenger hunt, and making a scarecrow for the garden.
She added they will work in their garden for the first half hour, then do their activities for the rest of the time.
However, the children are welcome to come and tend to their garden plots at anytime—just not after dark.
“It’s really exciting, given the high rate of diabetes, to get young people outside, meeting new friends, and learning to take care of the earth,” Quast enthused.
She stressed the volunteers at the community garden are very helpful, and that the kids are able to ask them questions about what to plant and what works well.
Quast said the Kids’ Garden Club will run until about mid-September, when they’ll have a wind-up barbecue.
“The community garden overall is doing really well,” Quast remarked.
“We’re seeing a lot of interest and a lot of support.”
She noted The Bargain Shop and Lowey’s are “friends” of the garden and local gardeners receive a membership card, which will allow them a 10 percent discount on garden-related products.
Still, the garden always is in need of donations—from soil, seeds, and mulching materials to hand tools, hoses, wheelbarrows, and plot markers.
Quast said several watering containers are available now, as well as the addition of four news gates to access the fenced-in garden.
“It’s really come a long way since it started,” she noted, adding another shed also will be erected at the garden this year.
And this year, organizers also are planning to have a port-a-potty on-site.
Quast said the community garden has a total of 59 regular-sized plots, four slightly smaller one, and 12 raised beds.
“The raised beds are great for people with disabilities or elderly people,” she reasoned.
“They are also great for people who are just getting started with gardening.”
Garden plots are still available.
Anyone looking to rent one for the season can stop by the Métis Hall today (May 7) until 5:30 p.m., or call Quast at 274-9827.

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