Community garden nearly ready to plant

Heather Latter

After more than a year-and-a-half of work, the local Community Garden Team is pleased to see their efforts finally come to fruition with the garden nearly ready for planting.
“It’s coming along,” enthused acting chair Becky Holden.
“It’s in the ground right now, which is the most exciting thing.”
Holden said the soil has been tilled, the plots measured and marked, and the walkways dug. Now they just need to have the water tank filled up and they will be set to go.
However, they also are planning to erect a fence around the garden, and would like to have a shed on site to house tools and equipment.
Holden noted they’ve had a great response to building this larger community garden, which is located on Lillie Avenue between Fifth Street and Sixth Street West.
“Pretty much all the plots are rented,” she remarked, adding there still are three children’s plots available, which are slightly smaller in size as compared to the regular ones.
Anyone still interested in being involved in the community garden can contact Holden at 274-9827 and she will try to accommodate you.
“We would appreciate any volunteers willing to help out at the garden or any donations people could offer,” she said, noting if people have old gardening item, or items they no longer are using, the team gladly would accept them.
Their wish list includes horticultural items, such as seeds, bulbs, perennials, fertilizers, and mulching materials, as well as equipment and supplies.
Equipment and supplies needed includes hand tools, garden hoses, wheelbarrows, watering cans, flower pots, gloves, kneeling pads, etc.
The team also is looking for material to build a fence around the garden and for a shed to have on site.
“If anyone can help us out, we’d appreciate it,” Holden stressed, noting the fence and shed are important because organizers want to keep the deer out of the garden.
And without a shed, people are going to have to haul their own tools and equipment each time they come to the garden.
Holden said a formal opening of the community garden will be held sometime in June, with more details about that to follow.
The Community Garden Team is planning to have someone at the garden on late afternoons and evenings each Thursday to provide assistance, as well as to offer small learning workshops throughout the season.
“It’s a really great opportunity for children to get involved in and learn about gardening,” Holden reasoned.
“And we’re just happy to see it finally coming together.”
The push for a large community garden here got underway last winter, with the Community Garden Team—consisting of representatives from the Northwestern Health Unit, Sunset Country Métis, United Native Friendship Centre, Rainy River District Social Services Administration Services, and local gardeners—spending the past year making plans and organizing the project.
“I would like to thank all the volunteers who have been helping with the planning of the garden for the past 18 months,” Holden said, citing Ken Munn, in particular, who helped prepare the soil.
“We’re had a great response, and it will just be so nice when we start to see things start to grow,” she enthused.