Latest Event Updates

Community Gardens Feed People and Biodiversity in Oakville

Posted on

In case you hadn’t noticed, SPRING 2015 has been all about helping bees and butterflies! We were happy to partner with many schools, community groups and faith communities to plant pollinator gardens across town. Many more Oakville residents purchased native plants from us and added host plants and nectar sources for our native bees, honey bees and butterflies to their gardens. Also as of July 1st, Ontario became the first jurisdiction in North America to protect bees and other pollinators through new rules to reduce the number of acres planted with neonicotinoid-treated corn and soybean seeds by 80 per cent by 2017.

At the Anglican Church of the Incarnation in Oakville, planting a patch of habitat for pollinators went hand-in-hand with planting a new community food garden. In partnership with the Greening Sacred Spaces program, Oakvillegreen was happy to share pollinator and native plant knowledge with the community at the Anglican Church of the Incarnation and help them install a pollinator garden.

beatrizpollinator
OCA Tree & Education Program Coordinator, Beatriz, talking about pollinators.

Nadine Asmis, the community garden coordinator shared this post with us about their experiences:

Growing Food, Together. Starting a Cooperative Community Garden

“I always wondered why somebody didn’t do something about that, then I realized I am somebody” – Lily Tomlin.

There seems to be this growing disconnect between people and the food they consume. How and when popular foods grow, such as asparagus or peanuts, is not common knowledge. I thought to myself: “We should know this. Food is a necessity of life”. So how do we learn about food? Community gardens are an excellent way of learning all about gardening and food production from others. If you live in the city and don’t have a lot of space, you can purchase a plot at your local community garden and grow your own produce. But what about those of us who don’t have the resources to access a garden?

The community garden started at the Anglican Church of the Incarnation aims to resolve this problem. Our new cooperative garden is open to everyone at no cost. Our goal is to grow food while restoring our connection with nature and each other. The harvest will be divided amongst our volunteers and with the local food bank. Already we are growing tomato, kale, bean, pepper plants and much more! We would love to expand the number of raised beds in the future as well as start a youth garden completely run by children. Our goals may be modest, but it is small steps such as these that teach us to live healthier, more sustainable lifestyles.

I would like to say thank you to everyone who has helped turn our dream into a reality. And thanks to Oakvillegreen for providing us with a beautiful pollinator garden!

If you have any questions regarding our gardens or community gardens in general, please feel free to contact us at incacommunitygarden@gmail.com.  

Nadine Asmis

OCAgarden
Raised Beds @ Church of the Incarnation
after3
Pollinator Garden @ Church of the Incarnation

A Busy Start to Summer!

Posted on

We’ve been busy! Here’s a taste of some of the wonderful outings and corporate greening events we organized in June:

From our “Tour de Trees” with Cycle Oakville:

tour de trees 2015 rest tour de trees 2015 creek tour de trees 2015

 

From our Winston Woods stewardship day with the Genworth Canada team:

genworth volunteers 2015 a genworth volunteers 2015 b

From our Langtry Park/14 Mile Creek invasive plant removal day with the Ian Martin Group:

ian martin group 2015 a Ian martin group 2015 cogecoian martin group 2015 andy ian martin group walk

Thanks to all our wonderful event participants and volunteers for their enthusiasm! Thanks especially to the Town of Oakville Parks and Open Space team for their assistance during our stewardship events and thanks to the folks at Conservation Halton for lending us their buckthorn ‘extractigators’! We also appreciate the Oakville Beaver/Inside Halton team helping us spread the word about our events and happenings. READ the article from our day with the Ian Martin Group here!

Thanks also to Krista Sharpe from TVCOGECO for joining us on location!

The Story of the Oakvillegreen Community Garden

Posted on Updated on

image2

A while back Oakvillegreen helped establish a communal garden at Trafalgar Park – off of Kerr St. We asked one of the original founders and gardener, Susan Curran, to tell us the story of how the garden grew, both in community and in veggies.

According to Susan, when she retired in 2007, she was looking for a “project”. With help from her daughter she decided to try and organize a community garden somewhere in Oakville. She approached the Town of Oakville and was offered space in Trafalgar Park. Susan was a member of Oakvillegreen at the time and Oakvillegreen was able to assist with insurance and with an application to the Oakville Community Foundation for a small startup grant.

Susan also noted that the approach – a communal garden – was novel for the town, which had only offered allotment plots up to that point. The Town of Oakville assisted with garden preperation and arranged for the Region to deliver compost and the following year erected a fence around the garden.image1

During the first spring, Susan advertised a meeting for all those interested in gardening together. About 50 people showed up. When it came time to do the actual work, there were about 20 volunteers – of all ages (from 5 up) and with varying degrees of gardening knowledge. Decisions were made collectively and unlike the little red hen, all shared in the work and all shared in the harvest.

Susan also explained that while many of the original gardeners have moved away, a core remain and every year new members join. Also, because the garden is located at the entrance to the park, there is a steady stream of dog walkers, parents on the way to the playground, and residents walking to their apartments. People always stop and ask about the garden, and they are invited to join if they wish.  Students also help out as part of their community hours for high school.

Gardensm_7543
Photo by Sue Carduelis

The 40 x 50 ft garden is still communal and filling out beautifully again this year with veggies, herbs and flowers. People wanting to join in or help out can contact Susan at: cursusan [at] gmail [dot] com. All are welcome to participate as they are able and members save and share seeds, start their own seedlings, dig free compost from the region and contribute to hard costs such as buying manure.