Last week was jam packed, and I wanted to share a few of my favourite moments with you.
An Alleyway Children’s Garden
I got an email last week from a woman that I found really inspiring. Her idea is simple, but I think it would make a big impact in her neighbourhood. This is what she had to say,
“I’ve been contemplating turning my rarely-used driveway into a shared garden space for the kids on our block…It is a densely populated area with many young families and not much yard space for kids to get their hands in dirt.”
I couldn’t help, but be reminded of the work that City Repair does in Portland Oregon. Wouldn’t it be amazing to turn an alley driveway into a children’s garden complete with mural paintings on the concrete, a community composting station, and sustainable water harvesting?! That is exactly what we talked about – dream big, right! As we walked around the space in her driveway and the alleyway, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the alley just a few blocks south that I spent years of my childhood playing in – it would have been amazing for us to have a shared garden space like this. Hopefully this project will move forward, and I would love to see more people in the community taking this sort of initiative – we’re here to support you.
The Harvest Project is one of our partner organizations, and it was great to check in with them this Spring before the harvest season begins. The food that we grow in our Sharing Gardens and through our Sharing the Bounty Network is donated to the Harvest Project, so clients are eating fresh, local, organic produce grown in their own neighbourhoods. I’m excited because it also looks like we are going to try to work together to share more recipes and information about the food that we’re donating with clients and volunteers. Check out this short video on why the Harvest Project is so important to our community:
Harvest Project – Food Recovery from Lemongrass on Vimeo.
Our New Sharing Garden @ Norvan Boys & Girls Club
Amazing. Dedicated. Those are just two words that I would use to describe the five volunteers that showed up last Thursday night in the POURING rain to turn a fairly abandon garden plot at the Norvan Boys & Girls Club into one ready for planting. This is one of our new Sharing Gardens, and kids at the Club will be picking food for their snacks throughout the summer months, and hopefully the garden will find a place in their programming over time.
Queen Mary Elementary Students Get a “Movable Garden”
Queen Mary School is currently undergoing massive seiesmic upgrades and renovations, so classes are being held at the Cloverly school site. Although we’re using the School Garden plots at Queen Mary for an Urban Grains Demonstration Garden this year, we also wanted to continue gardening and eating healthy snacks with the students. On Friday I was honoured to present a certificate from the Toyota Evergreen Learning Grounds School Ground Greening Grants program, and to bring in the materials to build their “movable garden”. We used four 6foot by 2foot galvanized aluminium water troughs, students filled them with soil, and in the coming weeks start planting. When they move back to Queen Mary Elementary School, the garden can come with them.
Blitz for the Bees
The Building Urban Garden or B.U.G. Blitz held on Saturday was bee-utiful! We got together to create a fantastic native bee habitat garden under the direction of BeeFriendly.ca‘s Ric Erickson. Delicious snacks, lots of learning, and some sore arms from all the wheelbarrowing. Check out the photographs here.
Honourable mentions – fantastic Loutet Workbee planting rows and rows of green onions, Collingwood High School Students working on Loutet Farm to celebrate Earth Day, Group Gardening at Queen Mary Community Garden on Saturday morning, and a tonne of meeting with new and enthusiastic volunteers!