Thursday, April 5, 2012

Helping Hands Community Garden

Well, we will be gardening in Lefurgey Park this year, and hopefully, for many years to come!

Pumpkin seeds rearing their beautiful heads in anticipation of a new home.

After the municipal budget was delivered last week, we are now able to officially say that the city has given us permission to develop a community garden on municipal park land and they will support us by tilling the beds this year and providing two picnic tables for the garden.  This was wonderful news and we are so thrilled that they decided to go ahead with supporting our project!  I'm not sure how to describe how excited I am, I have been practically squealing since I found out.

Our committee (minus one member, who has the flu) met last night at my home to discuss our next steps. First of all, we needed a name.  We bandied about a few different possibilities, until a friend of mine suggested "Helping Hands Community Garden", which refers to the fact that twenty-five percent of the land will be used to grow organic vegetables for our local food bank and soup kitchen, and it seemed to ring just right in all of our ears.

We discussed roles of various committee members, how we would like the plots to look, what our expectations of gardeners are, what priorities we want to accomplish this year and what can wait until our second season, or even later.  We identified local businesses we would like to approach for help, community members that may be able to give us in-kind support, and came to the conclusion that we think we can be really frugal and run on a very small budget indeed.

I think we got off to a great start.  The individual members of the group have so much to offer already, between contacts, skills, knowledge, and enthusiasm--and although we have a lot to tackle if we want our garden up and running later this spring, I know we can pull it off.

I'll be updating further as developments arise, but wanted to share that, indeed, this community garden is a go!  We are very thankful to the City of Summerside, and in particular, Cory Thomas, who full-heartedly supported this idea in his role as city councillor.

We have the bare-bones beginnings, but it won't be long before there will be a fledgeling organic garden with newly emerging seedlings sharing hope for the future of sustainability and access to healthy, local food for everyone in the community.

If you live in the area and have any questions about the garden, how you can help, or how you can obtain a plot (there are some available!), please contact me and I'll get you sorted!  And bloggers--when everything is up and running, I plan to illustrate the steps involved in starting your own community garden.  A great way to dive into urban farming while working with your neighbours and friends!

A baby basil plant, destined to marry a succulent tomato.
*Quick note: these are seedlings grown from the seeds that I planted with James and have been patiently caring for under my grow light.  The pumpkin seeds were new, so I knew that they would grow.  The basil seeds are two years old, and still coming up with vigour!  The tomato seeds aren't doing much yet but seem to be swelling so I hope that that's a good sign, and I *think* I may have some luck with the germination of at least two butternut squash seeds!  So things in my little corner of the world seem to be going very, very well indeed.

This post is linked up to Garden Life at No Ordinary Homestead, Farmgirl Fridays, and Homestead Barn Hop at New Life on a Homestead.


  1. So happy everything is going forward! I am glad my camera was able to capture those lovely seedlings! I hope that you'll save some of that basil for your favourite red-haired sister.

  2. Do you have any extra butternut squash seeds? I just want to plant one or two to add to my squash collection this year. Please remind me (repeatedly if need be) to bring you luffah seeds!!!!

    1. I don't have any extras, the ones I had were a previously opened packet from a couple of years ago. That said, if they all germinate I won't need them all (I have seven toilet paper tubes with about 2-3 seeds each) and you can certainly have a couple of seedlings. They were organic Waltham though, so I am really hoping the ones I planted will grow! I'm a bit skeptical, however. It probably doesn't help that I keep poking at them to see if anything is happening under the soil!

  3. I'm excited for you and can't wait to see the progress!

  4. Such great news!!!! Way to go Ros and the rest of the garden team!! :)

  5. That is really wonderful. Congratulations! Love the seedling starting in the tp tubes. Such a great way to use those up and easy to transplant. :)

    So glad you linked up to Garden Life!


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