Diggin’ in the dirt!
New Bridgetown and Area Community Garden ready to grow
If you want to do a bit of gardening and get to know some great people, Olivia Wakefield has it all ‘sown’ up at the Bridgetown and Area Community Garden.
It’s the latest gardening project at the Meadows Adult Residential Centre on Church Street, and has grown from an idea, to a grant application, to a reality this spring in the lush green property nestled into the foot of the North Mountain.
Town folk can drop by to tend their crops and get to know the inspiring people who live there.
‘Idyllic setting’ may be an understatement, and the nearby courtyard is perfect for their first garden party set for June 23 from 10 a.m. to noon – and everyone is invited.
Meadows resident Osborne helps Wakefield at the gardens, a stone’s throw from the big gazebo, and just across the path from the Meadows itself. A couple of tinfoil pie plates hang from a bamboo stake in one of the eight new raised beds. They’ll keep the birds away. A couple of those bright yellow garden pinwheels will also help protect the plants.
There are eight raised beds, each three feet wide, 12 feet long, and one foot high. That’s enough space to grow beans, peas, tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, and more.
Wakefield, community garden project co-ordinator, said what gets planted is up to whoever rents out the beds at $30 apiece for the summer. It’s probably not a good idea to grow cucumbers, squash, Olivia Wakefield and friend Osborne were at work in the Bridgetown and Area Community Garden at the Meadows ARC June 7, getting everything ready for gardeners who rented one of the eight raised beds for the summer. Five of the raised beds were rented at that point, and one more has been paid for since then.
or pumpkins because the vines would fill the lawn as well as the beds.
The gardens are filled to the top with a rich manure, compost, and topsoil mix.
“We’ve had two separate people donate two raised beds each,” said Wakefield, adding five of the beds have already been rented out. With three left to sell for the summer, she said anybody in the Bridgetown area may get involved. “We’re on the bus route. All the garden tools are provided. There’s the garden shed for use.”
People can come in and tend to their gardens whenever they want. There’s a combination lock on the garden shed giving them access to water, garden tools, and compost.
Some great community partners have already helped out. When the garden shed was delivered, Acadian Seaplants of Cornwallis donated two 1,000-litre watering tanks. The local fire department filled them up, giving the community gardeners plenty of water to keep those vegetables growing.
The five raised beds already rented out for the summer will see a mixed demographic of gardeners. For instance, a father and
daughter claimed one. A mother, daughter, and grandmother will work together growing vegetables in another. And a local artist will be planting a third one. The sister of a Meadows resident also rented one.
“She’s going to come and garden with her brother here,” said Wakeman. “He’s in a wheelchair. That will be nice for them.”
The fifth bed was bought by the local Credit Union whose staff will get to work growing food for the Bridgetown and Area Food Bank.
Room to Expand
“When it’s full we’ll have room
to expand,” said Wakefield. “If the first year’s successful then we’ll build more as needed.”
Wakefield described the new project a community-building exercise.
“The residents (of the Meadows) get the community participation in their front yard,” she said. Visitors can interact with the residents. “Osborne helps me out daily. I have about three or four other residents who come and help. Some residents have their own gardens.”
There are six raised beds in bright red the side of the Meadows that residents plant.
The Meadows is known for its greenery. And getting outdoors and active isn’t a bad thing.
“We have a few different projects going on,” said Wakefield. “This is the community garden, and then on the side (of Meadows ARC) we have a large produce garden growing vegetables for the Meadows ARC residents. We have strawberries and rhubarb on the side, onions on the side, and then we (had) our planting day .... ”
As of press time, one more community garden raised bed had been sold and there was interest in the remaining two. To find out if there is one left for you, contact Wakefield at 902-824-2628.
If you want to go to the garden party on June 23, The Meadows is located at 200 Church St. By then the late spring frosts should be over with and the gardens thriving.