The history of the Grower’s Dozen Garden started in the autumn of 2015. I had started to regularly attend the monthly meetings being impressed by the lively and engaged membership. I heard many new suggestions in getting involved in the neighbourhood. One of them was:
How about a community garden?
The question was: Do you want one? The answer was: “Yes”. The community had started a potato patch a year earlier, with some results, which were not very promising. So- a dedicated bunch of people were needed. Exactly a dozen, yes 12, were interested and overwhelmingly a new “Club” was approved and the go ahead was given by the community. Separate planning meetings for the Garden Club were arranged in the Community hall with the Community’s support.
The group got together and the communication leaders were chosen, Steven and Kevin. The tasks of how to get donations, like lumber, soil, plants, were given out to the volunteers in the group. The research for monetary funds and physical structure were all shared by the group.
The location was discussed and the way how to make it a success. The West side of the rink was chosen, the potato patch was to be upgraded and north of same would be room for 4 boxes, that could be filled with soil that would be nurturing our new plants. It was going to be our pilot project.
So, in spring of 2016 the garden club volunteers got together and had the lumber to do the construction of 4 boxes, had the soil donated to fill all four boxes. They were put together starting mid-May. The 3 boxes were to be grown by the “Grower’s dozen”, the 4th box was to be grown by the Youth group from Boyle Street.
The donations of garden centres came in after they had the “left over” plants and flowers, seeds, picked up. The planting/seeding started June 8. 2016 and flowerbeds and vegetable beds were finished by mid-June.
WE GOT NOMMINATED FOR FRONT YARDS IN BLOOM!!!!!!
Through daily watering, all shared by the garden volunteers, the end result was a community feast on September 17, 2016! The pilot project had been a success!
New planning started for the coming year, through the input of all volunteers and cooperation and support from the community league, it was decided that the next year would bring a bigger garden, which would be achieved by putting in 20 removable boxes onto the Northside of the ice rink of Parkdale Community league.
Funding from the community league, Sustainable Food Edmonton and other donors was secured; and volunteering for the year 2017 and garden club members had increased and applicants for renting garden space had been found.
Spring 2017 started well organized, the volunteers got together and the boxes were put together on a few weekends, starting on April 29. The Ice Rink would be garden space till the fall, when the boxes will be moved to the outside of the rink and transformed for the skaters in the winter.
The boxes were arranged in the lettering of:
P C C L
(standing for: Parkdale/Cromdale Community League) The Grower’s Dozen reserved the 3. Letter= C = 5 boxes and the 4 boxes from 2016 for growing.
Seeding has started for the community boxes and the Renters have started their own boxes. The Hockey “time out” box has been transformed into a garden shed. (Hockey is no longer played in community rinks) Now we are looking forward for the flower donations. We also want to upgrade the front yard and had a professional Horticulturalist survey for the opportunities available for this. The front yard is already getting a flagpole for the Maple Leaf Flag for the 150 th birthday of Canada.
We are looking forward to a great 150th Canada Harvest feast in September!
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