Pin­court com­mu­ni­ty gar­den pro­ject open to ol­der en­thu­siasts

Par­ti­ci­pants get to keep what they grow

L'Etoile - - IN OTHER WORDS -

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.

Thri­ving pro­ject

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.

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