Car­bon­ear sews seeds for com­mu­nity gar­den

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY BILL BOW­MAN

“Inch by inch, row by row, Gonna make this gar­den grow; All it takes is a rake and a hoe, And a piece of fer­tile ground.” Tak­ing its cue from the song, the Car­bon­ear Parks and Re­cre­ation Com­mis­sion would like to see a com­mu­nity gar­den grow­ing in that Con­cep­tion Bay North town.

To plant the seed for the com­mu­nity gar­den con­cept, the com­mis­sion in part­ner­ship with East­ern Health hosted an in­for­ma­tion session Feb. 18 on the how-to of start­ing a com­mu­nity gar­den.

Florence But­ton, well­ness co-ordi- na­tor with the com­mis­sion, told The Com­pass, “sev­eral com­mu­ni­ties around the prov­ince have al­ready started com­mu­nity gar­dens.”

Af­ter at­tend­ing a sim­i­lar work­shop in Clarenville last Novem­ber hosted by the East­ern Health Coali­tion, But­ton said, “ I thought we should have one (in­for­ma­tion session) here for all the wannabee gar­den­ers who would like the op­por­tu­nity to see what it is and how to go about it.”

But­ton said last month’s session in Car­bon­ear pro­vided “a way to ex­plore the con­cept of what a com­mu­nity gar­den is and ... how to work to­wards the es­tab­lish­ment of a gar­den.”

Donna Nolan, re­gional nu­tri­tion- ist with East­ern Health, pointed to some very suc­cess­ful com­mu­nity gar­dens, in­clud­ing those es­tab­lished in La­ma­line, River­head, St. Mary’s Bay, and Pla­cen­tia.

Jill His­cock and her tar­geted ini­tia­tive for older work­ers ( TIOW) group talked about their work with stu­dents at the St. Fran­cis green­house in Har­bour Grace.

Cathy Parsons, mar­ket­ing and pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cer with the Multi Ma­te­ri­als Stew­ard­ship Board (MMSB), was on hand to give a pre­sen­ta­tion on com­post­ing.

Neil O’Grady told the 30 par­tic­i­pants who turned out for the session about his own gar­den and how live­stock, es­pe­cially chick­ens, can be in­cor­po­rated into the ven­ture.

O’Grady sug­gested re­turn­ing to ba­sic old-time grow­ing and agri­cul­tural meth­ods can be a win-win sit­u­a­tion for all those who get in­volved.

Mayor Sam Slade sug­gested the pro­ject could be a “ground-break­ing ini­tia­tive that would ben­e­fit the town as well as those wish­ing to es­tab­lish a gar­den.”

Mean­while, the town is con­sid­er­ing pro­vid­ing a piece of land for the pro­posed gar­den.

Now that the seed has been sewn, But­ton says the next step would be strik­ing a com­mit­tee in the near fu­ture “ to con­tinue dis­cus­sions started dur­ing the in­for­ma­tion session.”

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