High River Community Gardens

The Season is Nearing It's End

Tis the time of year to get the garlic in the ground, and take care of preparing the plot for 2022.  Please take the time to clear your plots of large debris, or desiccated plants.  The composters are full for this year, so kindly take any collected materials to the town recycling.

The water system is scheduled for shut off Oct 1, 2021 so make sure any perennials that need winter watering in are watered by then.

If you have large, woody stemmed plants that you need to remove please either take them to the town recycling, or have them stacked at the front or back gates for Oct 18.  DO NOT add these large stems to the compost piles at the garden.

If you haven't yet renewed, please be sure to do so by Oct 31, 2021 to secure your plot.  If you are sure you will not be renewing, please let the garden manager know, or send the society an e-mail.

Hopefully everyone had a productive 2021....and I look forward to seeing the returning gardeners (and some new faces) on 2022!  Thank you all for a great season!

Our Speaker - AGM 2022

This last year was an exceptional year for us here at the Garden Society.  A culmination of an incredibly hot summer with next to no precipitation brought to light some of the challenges of growing in the Chinook zone, especially as they relate to soil.  Soils are the foundations on which our gardens grow, and they can determine how successful a year is by supporting our plants through varied stressors, and ensuring all the supporting players necessary for strong plant health are able to thrive.  There are challenges to providing these conditions, especially here in High River, so please join us in a presentation from Dr. Tom Yates guiding us through some of the secrets in soils.

Tom Yates is an Associate Professor in the Department of Soil Science, U of S. He was born and raised in southern Saskatchewan and started his working career as an exploration geologist in Northern Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the NWT, and as a geological technician in the oil fields of Alberta. Tom took up the study of soil science later in life and first worked as agronomist, and then two years in university administration before turning to research and teaching. He has traveled widely, but his first love are the landscapes of southern Saskatchewan and Alberta.  His teaching and research is focused on soil description and classification, and experiential learning.

Affiliations and Positions:

  • Advisor: Renewable Resource Management Program – Resource Science
  • Professional Agrologist (PAg): Saskatchewan Institute of Agrology
  • Co-chair: Soil Science Education Committee, Canadian Society of Soil Science
  • Member: Soil Science Society of America
  • Member: Canadian Society of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
  • Member: Buffalo Circle, University of Saskatchewan

Getting on the Wait List

We are currently accepting applications for both McLaughlin Meadows, and Riverside gardens.  The wait list is turned over year over year, and you will typically hear from us in October with news on plot availability, with the final roster of new gardeners being firmed up for late March.

What this means is that if you applied for a garden today and don't get a plot for next Summer, you are still on the wait list.  If you're not on the wait list and would like one of our garden plots, the sooner you apply the better your chances so don't delay.

There is always a turnover of garden plots each season. Our existing gardeners will have until the end of October of this season to renew. After that plots which haven't been renewed will  be offered to those on the list.

To get on the list click this link.

General Guidelines

We are looking forward to welcoming some new gardeners in the 2020 season. If you want to join us you should have a look at our guidelines. These are the rules we operate the garden under. Some of them are embedded in our agreement with the Town. Some of them come from us but the most important thing for you to know is that we need everyone to pitch in and help out in keeping the garden in good shape.

We have some detailed Gardener Guidelines you can access at this link but here are a few of the basic rules.

•    Gardener use is limited to one plot per residence.   
•    Returning gardeners will have the same plot as the previous year unless you have requested a change.     
•    Plot changes are subject to availability.   
•    Please be respectful of the other member’s plots by picking only what is yours, unless you have been given permission to do so.

Town of High River Public Land

Fall Clean Up and Yes that Guy with the Sunflowers is our Mayor

Our gardens are located on public land owned by the Town of High River.

Everyone is welcome to come into the gardens, look around and relax. You don’t have to be a gardener to enter… but please don’t pick food from the garden allotments unless the gardener there invites you to.

McLaughlin Meadows Community Garden

Wow! Just a Couple of Months Later... Nature Rocks!

Our McLaughlin Meadows Garden is located in the SW just off Highwood Trail. This site has 20 ground plots and 12 raised bed gardens. As well there is a tool shed with a green roof, a compost bin area, a perennial herb bed and the start of a food forest.

 Riverside Community Garden

The Riverside Community Garden can be found in the NW off Riverside Drive. It is just south of Notre Dame High School. At the moment there are 43 gardens here but soon we’ll be adding another raised bed. So for season three we are looking at 24 ground plots and 20 raised beds at this site.

We began planting the Food Forest area this season, a collection of fruit and nut bearing shrubs, vines and trees. Under the trees will be edible flowers, berries and herbs.

It will take a few years before we get any real production but we look forward to future harvests the whole community can enjoy. In other words you don’t have to have a garden plot to reap some excellent food here.

It Takes a Village… and some Money… and some Sweat…

Our first year was a huge push. We managed to get approval to build two new Community Gardens in High River, get site plans developed, get grants, solicit donations and recruit volunteers.

These gardens came together with a lot of help.

For money - thanks are due to the TD Friends of the Environment and funds from the Flood Disaster Relief dollars under CDAC.

For materials - many local companies gave us deep discounts and outright donations.

For sweat - the Community Gardens were built and continue to be run totally with volunteers. During the build stage over a hundred people helped us out contributing hundreds of hours during construction.

This past year we've managed to plant most of the trees for our food forests and completed construction on two sheds.

As we carry on we continue to rely on volunteer help. Each gardener needs to look after their own plot and to help with the maintenance and upkeep of the pathways, and common areas.   Community Work Days are a great way to get to know your neighbouring gardeners, share ideas, and create a garden space together that we can all be proud of.

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