We had a great AGM via Zoom on the 24th of April. Thirty gardeners logged into the meeting mostly to learn more about the Covid-19 safety and procedures. Since then we've edited the guidelines sent out earlier just to make them clearer. Check out the sign that will soon be on our front gates.
I know you are all anxious to get into the garden. We are too believe me. We are working with the Environmental Public Health (EPH) to get things in place so we can open soon.
We have a big outbreak here given the size of our town. We've had more Covid-19 cases here in our little town of 13,000 souls than the entire city of Edmonton of close to a million people. A bit of extra caution makes sense. We want to start out right.
When we get a go ahead from EPH, and our hand and hose sanitizing infrastructure is in place, we will begin with small group orientation sessions. Once everyone is signed off on that the gardens will be opened. We will keep you in the loop.
All 75 garden plots are rented for the 2020 season. However we're keeping the wait list open year round.
What this means is that if you applied for a garden for 2019 and didn't get a plot in 2020 you are still on the wait list. And 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. Our existing gardeners will have until the end of February to renew. After that plots which haven't been renewed will start to be offered to those on the list.
To get on the list click this link.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.