Saturday, March 3, 2012

My Custom Homestead-Day 7 and a Community Garden Update

Day 7
The home(stead)work for today is just to sit back and take a moment to breathe and remember that these things don't happen overnight, not to stress and put deadlines on things.  In fact, I find that my hopes for homesteading this year are happening particularly quickly!  Specifically, the community garden seems like it is coming together and we will actually see it through to fruition (vegetation?!).  I'm so excited to be a part of a project that will result in such a beautiful change to the neighbourhood and larger municipal community as a whole.

The city councillor that I mentioned in previous posts, Cory Thomas, who is helping me push this in council, is extremely committed to convincing council to put this through.  He brought it up at the last meeting (the one that I attended) in order to underline it to the media that was present and promote a possible story in our local paper.  Well, he was successful, and one was published the other night:

City resident hopes to see a community organic garden grow

Published on February 29, 2012 
SUMMERSIDE – A resident in Summerside’s east end is looking to city council for support in starting a community organic garden in Lefurgey Park.
Topics : 
Lefurgey Park
Rosalyn Abbott presented the idea to Coun. Cory Thomas who then brought it to council earlier this week.
Abbot said where she lives there are a lot of trees and it’s not sunny enough to have a vegetable plot.
“One of the things that really appealed to me was the idea of when establishing a community garden, establishing what they call a pantry garden as well where you grow food for the local food bank,” said Abbott. “When I saw that I thought that is a real need in our community.”
Abbott said 25 per cent of the produce grown in the community garden could be earmarked for the local food bank.
“On P.E.I. you hear a lot about the food banks needing more donations but a lot of their donations come from non-perishable food items and they’re no necessarily local or always all that healthy,” Abbott said. “I thought that something that would be really great for the food bank and the soup kitchen would be to have fresh, local organic vegetables donated every year.”
She added a condition could be that people who would like to have a plot in the garden help out in the food pantry garden as well.
“That made me decide that now is the time to really move on it,” said Abbott. “It was one thing for me to want to place the garden but the thought of being able to promote something like this made it seem all the more important to get cracking on.”
Abbott said there are effects a community garden can generate.
“The benefits of community gardening seem to be endless,” she said. “It gets the members outside and active. I think people are a lot more likely to meat vegetables when they’re growing them themselves. It provides us with a very health diet.”
Abbott added it is also a great educational opportunity for children.
“I would like to put in a small children’s garden where is could have little tiny plots and they could plant their own vegetables and watch them grow,” she said. “I’m hoping to involve the community youth in the planning process as well.”
Thomas, who supports the initiative, said there is space in Lefurgey Park behind the playground suitable for a community garden.
“I don’t see this as a major expense,” said the councillor. “I see this as a small expenditure and we could gradually build on it and enhance that park.”
The concept has been bought up in pre-budget planning meeting.
“We’ll see when we get into budget discussion where that goes,” said Thomas.
Abbott hopes to have an opportunity to make a presentation to council about the community garden.

Granted, the typographical and grammatical errors were a bit of a disappointment, but I hear that they are lacking a managing editor at the paper and the reporter I spoke to probably was in a rush to get the story in.  Some of the quotes aren't exactly right... but, I am thrilled that they took this story on and are bringing it to the attention of our city.  It seems like a concrete step ahead in the right direction and, in the coming week, I am going to start working harder to build on the plans for a community garden in order to show council that I am serious about coordinating this effort.  Hopefully, I can find a number of like-minded residents who would like to be on a planning committee for it.

This post concludes the first seven days of homestead planning that are introduced in Jill Winger's "Your Custom Homestead: Awakening a Fresh Vision of Homesteading".  (You can find her blog here.) There are 14 more days of home(stead)work left to have a look at, but I think I'll take a break from that for next week and return to regular posts about the community garden, recipes, my children, etc.  I'll return to this process in a couple of weeks.  I hope you're enjoying following on this journey with me!  And any time you have some information that would help, I'd definitely appreciate it.

This post is linked to the Living Well Blog Hop #31 on Common Sense Homesteading

1 comment:

  1. So proud of you Rosie!!! I was so pleased to see you mentioned in the paper, as soon as they tweeted the article I clicked through and sure enough my sis is getting mentioned! Love it!


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