11 gardeners and supporters met together on a cool and rainy evening in October, sharing a hearty stew and huddling in (in!) the garden shed to talk about food policy. Our report has been submitted to the People's Food Policy Project for inclusion in their workshops at the Food Secure Canada's Assembly.
I had the opportunity to present to church leaders of the Christian Reformed Church from across Ontario about our community garden. There were 30 participants from about 15 churches.
While I told our story about how we made it happens and the success of our first year, I focused on how we intentionally engaged the community because we wanted the garden to also be a place where we would build relationships and connections - community.
At the end, I asked for values needed to both involve community and build community. This is what the group said:
All gardeners must have their plots tidy by the end of October 23. Tidy means:
- all non-frost tolerant plants should be clean up and put in the compost piles
- anything you are no longer harvesting should be pulled up and put in the compost piles
- all weeds that lurked under your plants are in the compost piles
We encourage all those with late season crops to have them continue, and also those who want to grow winter crops. Please just keep your plot looking neat.
Katrina and Emma put together a wonderful newsletter about our garden - please share widely! Newsletter PDF (408KB)
On July 29th the garden invited City Councilors and staff to check out the garden. We had a great group of gardeners and friends and decadent treats, and Ward 3 Cllr. Bernie Morelli came out for over an hour to check out the garden and talk about his hopes for a garden in Gage Park. He is looking for folks in the Gage Park area interested in helping start a community garden. Interested? email him at [email protected].
These are ripe when:
- you see a colour change
- they have a hard skin (can't puncture with fingernail)
- they sound jollow when knocked
- the stem is hard and dry
To harvest, cut off the vine leaving as much stem as possible. Wash them to remove bacteria that might cause them to rot (spray with peroxide if you don't want to use bleach). Store in a cool, dry area out of sun. If they are not quite ripe, but you have to pick them, you can let them cure / ripen in a dry, warm place (80F / 27C).
Chat about Permaculture? We are leading a workshop on how permaculture principles are being creatively expressed in Hamilton, and we would love to chat with others interested in permaculture for inspiration and ideas. Email [email protected] if you'd like to get together some time in the next week or so. From Wikipedia: Permaculture is an approach to designing human settlements and agricultural systems that mimic the relationships found in natural ecologies.
Below is a map with marks for where gardeners come from in the city - so many close by and some from a little further away.
PRESS RELEASE: DISTRIBUTE WIDELY
April 19, 2010
The Hill Street Community Garden was officially created this weekend. Almost 100 local residents came together to build raised beds in this new citizen-led community garden. Local businesses were exceptionally generous, donating more than $6,500 worth of materials towards the project.