Thursday, March 31, 2011

Waiting for Approval is Killing Me!

The board of directors of the Ladner Community Garden are so excited! We did a presentation to the Delta Parks Board Commission and our project has been prepared for approval at Delta Council on April 4, 2011. That's only days away and we cant wait to get started building this garden for the residents of Delta.

Of course, there are lots of supplies to figure out in advance and they all cost money, something we don't have much of. Tomorrow night we get together to make up our wish list. We need everything from composters, tools to lumber and wheelbarrows. I guess those are the basic supplies to get us started.
Upon approval, the city will be installing a water line for us, thank you Delta! A garden cannot grow without water.
Once we get the all clear from the city,the land we are using will be leveled and it will be time to mark out the beds, pathways and different areas of the garden.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Our Proposed Community Garden

I am so excited! It seems like this new community garden cannot happen fast enough.The interested parties have already met twice to discuss the garden. I have also met with the city parks department and they showed me a map of this park.They offered its use and was I ever surprised! This park has two sections, a north and a south side with no trees to shade any future gardens. Hubby and I and our team walked the park and it is perfect for what we have planned. The park is about three acres on each side. We decided the north side is the best as far as drainage goes.It has very few neighbours looking towards the park and is right next to a pair of tennis courts, a children's play area and a parking lot. Yes, parking is already there! Now I doubt the city will let us use the whole park but right now it just looks like pasture. I have a feeling it had dairy cows on this site years ago. Just look at its potential.

I have been drawing up a garden design, not once but twice now. If you look closely, this is the center of the community garden. I have included a sitting area under a pergola so people can take a break from their gardening chores.

We will also have a food sharing garden along with allotments. I think its important to give back to the community and any food grown in our sharing garden will go directly to our local food bank.

I incorporated a compost demonstration area, rain barrels,raised allotment beds, tool shed, sink and many other important features. In the corner of the children's garden will be a wildlife garden, native plant garden and a shared fruit garden.
These are grand plans and the garden will be done in phases. There is still lots of bureaucratic paperwork and presentations to the city to do. There will also be a neighbourhood survey done.
Today I do the first step, applying for an official name. Wish me luck.

Ladner Community Garden- How We Began

I have been so busy over the last week I have hardly had time to post until today. I decided last October after visiting Terra Nova Rural Park that I wanted a community garden in my home town.

Here we are in a large rural area but we don't grow our own food. Whats with that? Its not like we can buy directly from the farmer and we don't have weekly farmers markets either. All the food that is grown here is shipped to supermarkets all over the country.

So why a community garden? It gives residents a fresh supply of healthy nutritious food, plenty of exercise (I see wheelbarrows) and it brings together a community. A community garden will also beautify an area, especially if empty lots are used. Growing your own food teaches people how to be self reliant. For me,I have this addiction to roasted vegetables and want to share my passion for food I think. I mean its just so easy to drop a seed in the soil and watch it grow. What a great way to save money on our food bill. I am all over that!

So how did I get started? I brought the idea of a community garden and talked about it at my garden club. I had quite a few supporters. I mean you cant go wrong starting there as we are all passionate about growing anything. I took peoples names and left it at that over the holiday season.

Over the last month, I have been planning, researching online, networking with other gardens and just taking notes. Last week it was time to really get out and talk to people. Yes, actually talk to people, no emails, just plain face to face chat. You see, its hard for people to see your excitement in an email. but when they see your face in a conversation, it can only be contagious, right?

I went to my city hall and asked them about starting a community garden. They gave me a number for a community group and sent me away feeling defeated. I called the number they gave me and the fellow I talked to was so excited. He asked to meet with me and that was when I got my first support from a community group that helps out needy families. They encouraged me and gave me advice to keep trying, so I did.
I started by having a first meeting of interested parties. Thirteen people showed up at my home and there were so many great ideas. Its almost like information overload at the end of the night. We established a board of committed members and we will call ourselves the Ladner Community Garden for now.
The next day I sent an email to the city as calling automated lines didn't seem to get me anywhere.I sent them a write up of what I would like to establish in our community garden and how I was looking for land.
I went several days and no response so I talked to my seniors center, food banks, family services and a consulting firm. They all agreed to support my idea.Someone was so excited, they offered to make sure my email to the city was read. I mean really, its just so easy to delete and I am sure the city has lots of other bigger issues that mine.
Yesterday I received a call and the city wants to sit down and look at available land for the garden. I was so excited I am sure I was babbling over the phone, not a good thing to do. So now I am just waiting for a date and hopefully we will have some land. If not, I will look at other avenues but it will happen. I guarantee it.