This week I have been inquiring about community gardens in our county. I knew there were some infrastructures in places and realized it was time to check in as planting season is on. I sent a few emails around, called some people, and realized that even though areas may be dedicated for growing in some communities, several of them are lacking a crucial element: a garden coordinator.
This year, more than ever, people who have never gardened are interested in growing food. Not all have the privilege to have the land, knowledge, tools, or the seeds to make their wish come true. Yet all of these things are available within each of our communities.
So what does it take to get the ball rolling? To find out I visited Alex Watson in Springhill who has been in charge of their garden for the past 8 years.
First you will need a piece of land dedicated to the gardens. If none exist or if the ones that do exist are not being used, check in with your Village Commission, Town Hall, or the County. Depending on available resources you may need some funds to buy soil, compost, wood to build raised beds, basic tools, and seeds. You will need water, either there is a water source on location or water is brought to you. Barrels work well for storing, your fire department could help you in keeping them full.
All elements may be in place and yet gardens remain dormant. What is really needed is a garden coordinator, volunteers, and dedicated gardeners. I asked Alex what makes a good garden coordinator. He tells me: “You got to be able to get along with people, listen to people, get their ideas, get them involved” “You want to be a “We” person, not an “I “person” “To get people involved you have to go out and be involved yourself”
There are plenty of folks that love to give a hand and share what they have but don’t want to take charge. There are others who have wonderful organization skills but don’t care to dig the soil. The main thing is to see who has what and make the most of everyone’s skills. When there is a will there is a way.
The gardens in Springhill are moving next to the tennis court at the Lion’s Park this month. More beds will be made, high beds will be moved, trees and berry bushes are to be transplanted. There should be enough room for 30 gardens. What if you have too much demand I ask? We’ll make more room, Alex says. If all goes well the plots should be ready by the end of May. If you are interested in gardening, volunteering, or both, give Alex a call. You’ll be in luck.
Contacts and information
Springhill : Alex Watson 902-297-0215
Pugwash : Dot Pal 902-664-8691
Oxford : Rachel Jones 902-447-2170
For other communities contact Caroline Bollwerk our Cumberland Active Living Coordinator
Caroline Bollwerk 902-664-9143 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org