Pincourt community garden project open to older enthusiasts
Participants get to keep what they grow
A thriving community garden project in Pincourt that’s connected low income housing residents 50-years and older with town people in the same age bracket is about to head into its 10th growing season.
The Town and the Pincourt Community Gardens Committee are inviting low-income housing tenants and other residents to submit applications in order to qualify for use of one of 22 garden plots.
The 10 ft. x 10 ft. parcels of land will be given to interested gardening enthusiasts, who will then be able to grow - and keep - a variety of vegetables.
Joanne Déry of the Gardens Committee says the project began in 2004 as a way to help people from low-income housing units integrate and socialize with residents from other parts of town.
She says priority is given to people living in apartments and condos, who might not otherwise have the chance to cultivate a garden.
Participants, who are only asked to pay a $7 application fee for use of the land, will be invited to a meeting in May where they’ll be issued their plot of land as well as a key to an onsite shed containing all of the needed gardening tools.
Each gardener will also receive two complimentary bags of compost, as well as use of a compost bin located on the garden grounds.
The 22 individual gardens have been situated in the same place for the past 10 years, on the grounds of the Sénéchal Residences, on the corner of chemin Duhamel and 5th Ave.
Once assigned a plot of land, each grower will only need to buy their plants.
And while participants are generally given free reign, Déry says there are a few restrictions on what people can and can’t grow.
“They can pretty much plant whatever they want except for some things that are prone to diseases like potatoes, corn and some vegetables,” she explained, adding most plant things like cucumbers, tomatoes, peas, beans, herbs, and more.
The project, which was awarded a Caisses populaires grant a few years ago, not only encourages participants to get outdoors and grow their own food, it also bring community members together.
Déry says fellow gardeners often share tips and ideas with each other, while everyone gets together after the harvest to discuss what worked and did not work during the growing season.
And once a garden plot is assigned to a gardener, it is theirs to use for a three year period of time.
“If we don’t have a high demand (in applications) the next year, the plot can be given to the same person for another three years,” Déry explained.
All gardeners are responsible for cleaning the tools provided and for keeping their plot of land neat and weed-free.
According to Déry, one man who has had a plot of land for the past few years donates his entire yield to people living in low-income housing units. “He just loves to garden,” she noted. Interested people 50-years and older must apply by April 25 by calling Lise Charlebois at 514 453-5009, or Joanne Déry at 514 453-1386. A draw will take place if too many people apply.