Win­ner Cat­e­gory 2

Fran­cois Le­hodey of Ed­mon­ton, Ab. for the best con­tainer gar­den.

Ontario Gardener Magazine - - LOCAL DIRT -

With a glo­ri­ous cel­e­bra­tion of Red and White, even the toma­toes take cen­ter stage in Fran­cois Le­hodey’s mas­sive con­tainer gar­den! Filled with petu­nias, zin­nias and gera­ni­ums, Fran­cois’ Cel­e­bra­tion is over­flow­ing with Canada’s colours! Fran­cois, who has been gar­den­ing for over 40 years cred­its much of his gar­den­ing knowl­edge from his mother. He also has in­her­ited her deep care for sus­tain­abil­ity and help­ing those in need pro­vide for them­selves. His par­ents have pro­vided the mo­ti­va­tion ev­ery year to grow fresh foods and he cur­rently be­longs to the Jardin com­mu­nau­taire Cam­pus Saint-Jean Com­mu­nity Gar­den. A bilin­gual group open to staff, Rési­dence Saint-Jean stu­dents and mem­bers of the sur­round­ing neigh­bor­hood. To this day he con­tin­ues to vol­un­teer, help­ing dis­trib­ute for green­houses for Sus­tain­able foods Ed­mon­ton for gen­er­a­tions grow­ing and gar­den­ing to­gether.

Fran­cois drives for Grey­hound and teaches fly­ing lessons in his spare time so he has to fit his gar­den­ing hobby into an al­ready busy sched­ule. As well as pro­vid­ing veg­eta­bles for his ta­ble, gar­den­ing also has a very re­lax­ing ef­fect on him and helps al­le­vi­ate the stress of his day to day life.

Fran­cois has taken a keen in­ter­est in sus­tain­abil­ity and is deeply com­mit­ted to mak­ing use of the abun-

dance that we have in our coun­try. He has found that stores and green­houses ei­ther sell off or even throw away dam­aged or poorly per­form­ing plants so he has been able to pur­chase veg­eta­bles and other plants at re­duced prices and plant them in com­mu­nity gar­dens where they have thrived and pro­duce veg­eta­bles to feed many. With so many peo­ple starv­ing in other coun­tries, Fran­cois has found ways for Cana­di­ans to sus­tain them­selves for the least amount of money and takes pride that the TLC he pro­vides for his con­tainer gar­den sus­tains him over the en­tire sea­son!

Fran­cois also con­serves wa­ter by col­lect­ing rain­wa­ter in bar­rels. He feels that it is bet­ter for the plants to use rain wa­ter and that they thrive on it. He was taught how to grow plants in five gal­lon pails and used that tech­nique for his ex­pan­sive con­tainer gar­den. As you can imag­ine, it was a huge com­mit­ment of time for the Canada 150 project. With over 15 con­tain­ers to plant and care for and a sched­ule that re­quired him to be away for days at a time, Fran­cois made sure that he wa­tered just be­fore he left and as soon as he re­turned and was for­tu­nate to get rain at some op­por­tune times!

Fran­cois sees the red and white of his con­tainer gar­den as an op­por­tu­nity to mark the 150th an­niver­sary of our great coun­try. He says, “Canada’s Sesqui­cen­ten­nial is an im­por­tant mo­ment for our coun­try, our com­mu­ni­ties, and a re­minder to many peo­ple who call Canada home. Cana­di­ans are set­ting their sights on the hori­zon, and we show our pride as a for­ward think­ing pro­gres­sive coun­try.”

Fran­cois' con­tainer gar­den fea­tured vi­brant red and white petu­nias, zin­nias and gera­ni­ums.

Fran­cois Le­hodey of Ed­mon­ton, Ab.

The con­tainer gar­den fea­tures an abun­dance of veg­eta­bles and herbs.

Fran­cois en­joys gar­den­ing for it's ther­a­peu­tic ef­fects, as an an­ti­dote to his busy life­style.

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