Thursday, June 7, 2012

Helping Hands Starts to Get Its Hands Dirty

I've been feeling pretty badly that this past month has been such a sparse one for blog posts.  I really enjoy blogging, and I like that I have a few followers.  I don't want to lose them!  I'm going to really have to make an effort to figure out a schedule that allows me to do all of the things that I want to get done around our home, yard/garden, kitchen, and with our children, (leaving, of course, time for my darling husband as well!), but that still has me sitting down in front of the computer about three times a week to share some of my thoughts, successes, failures, learning experiences, etc. here on the Hopeful Homesteader.

One of my commitments that has been taking up quite a bit of time lately is Helping Hands Community Garden.  Over the course of the last few weeks, we have had it tilled, shovelled a truckload of partially decomposed horse manure throughout the beds, tilled it a little more, put up a decorative fence at one end (thanks Caleb!), planted sunflowers (this evening), had a garden committee meeting, finalized our garden rules and gardener agreement, written a donation request letter for local garden centres, communicated with interested gardeners, planned our garden kick-off (this Saturday at 3 pm!  Please come!) and updated our Facebook page.  I think I may be leaving things out.  I honestly haven't even started gardening yet.  Well, not really.  I raked some of the larger bits of sod out of our family's plot and spread two bags of compost in it this evening.  But I haven't planted anything yet and haven't even started on the food bank gardens.  Eek!

The process, while busy, has been immensely easy, and so far the only money we have spent was to buy a roll of string to mark off the beds for the man who tilled it for us.  Considering sample budgets that we found for community gardens, a grand total of about $6.00 to have the garden actually a functioning, established area is pretty amazing.  It just seems that it is meant to be.  Our city has been incredibly supportive and helpful.  They allowed us to use the parkland as a community garden without any kind of lease, they paid to have the beds tilled, they installed an outdoor tap on the little washroom building in the park so that we would be able to access water for the beds, they lent us the use of a city truck (and a couple of employees) to help me go collect the horse manure for the beds, they will provide us with one or two picnic tables for the garden, and all along they have been so enthusiastic and happy to help.  And I heard back from a representative of the soup kitchen and food bank today, telling us that they would love to have donations of fresh produce.  I know that there have been friends of mine encouraging us and praying for the success of this garden, and it shows.  I feel so blessed to be involved!

So I wanted to share a few photos of the initial phases of the garden establishment, and I'll update throughout the season with photos as the plants come up, as we begin getting busy, as we gather the harvest, and share it with those who may not normally be able to afford organic vegetables.

For those of you living in Summerside and wondering about getting a garden plot, there are still two or three left and in order to get your hands in one, just email me at or send one of the admin a note through our Facebook page.

Tying strings and very excited to get started!

It was such a huge help to have Caleb measuring the plots and pounding in the stakes.

Katie finishing up the beds.

The beds are being tilled!  Exciting!

Happy to have these beds done and almost ready to go!


  1. Yay! So excited for the kickoff on Saturday. What should I bring?

  2. Look at all that new space to fill up, Rosalyn!

    - Cloud

  3. It's looking great Rosalyn! Congratulations!! I love your shirt ;)

  4. That is fantastic about the community gardens. Such a blessing to the community, and they are looking so good. You all must be proud!


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