The community vegetable garden movement is certainly “growing” across the country. The idea of growing your own vegetables is not new, it was a way of life for many people, especially in rural areas of Canada. As a boy I can remember helping my grandfather weed and pick potatoes. In the early years it was essential to sustain life. Most families in out port Newfoundland and Labrador had cellars to keep their food cool and dry during the winter months.
Today, it is a movement of choice for the most part, fueled by the need to be involved in the big picture. To take gratification that we can make a difference and create our own , healthy and local food.
Community Vegetable Gardens allow those who do not have the space or in some cases the know how to start a garden. A community garden is a physical forum of knowledge and best practices in making a garden work.
In Bay Roberts, we started a pilot project of 24 gardens, constructing them in Autumn 2015 to start 2016. It was a journey of great interest for me as it was not just another project for our municipality, but something that I always wanted to do. This section of my food blog is dedicated to the “fruits (and vegetables)” of our labor.
Most participants in the garden are learning, and growing with the garden. I look forward to posting information and pictures of our journey.
The beginning, staff installed vegetable planters behind the Cable Building on Water Street.
24 gardens were ready to use autumn 2015, I planted some chives and herbs to over winter, the chives and rhubarb were the only plants to make it through the winter for me.
We added cold frames for those who wanted to start their planting early, I used it primarily for celery and beets, both worked out fine. I did try the leeks in there (and still have some in there but are not doing as well as I thought they would)
We planted the celery first (in June) and tried peppers. The peppers seemed to not of liked the soil mix, as no peppers in the garden grew, they flowered and a little bud formed but that was it.
In July the name of the garden changed to the Bay Roberts Veggie Patch.
After months of growing I was able to start harvesting!! The cabbage, lettuce and potatoes were delicious.
This year was a learning year for a great deal of us in the garden. I know I crowded my garden and selected some plants that did not work well in our climate. I have almost all my garden harvested and am enjoying showing off the bounty. Notes are taken and I am ready for next year. I am hoping to have a social with all the participants in October to celebrate the garden and what it produced for the first year. I look forward to posting more pictures soon!!
I took the time a couple weeks ago to post a YouTube video of the garden and yours truly harvesting my potatoes , have a look
Special thanks to Georgina King for sending me a picture of some of her vegetables, she is already looking forward to next year!!