Heather Heights Raised Garden Bed
The reason I wanted to apply for this project was twofold, mainly to address the issues of food security for subsidized folks. My hope was to inspire people to help themselves as well, by mentoring & encouraging them to help put fresh food on their own tables when physically and mentally able.
The building of the raised vegetable garden at Heather Heights in Armstrong was successful. The garden was filled with good quality soil & planted with tomatoes, peppers, carrots, beets, parsley and cucumbers. A volunteer took on the seasonal supervision of the raised bed, and checked in often to ensure things were going well.
Larry, a resident at Heather Heights, has been adding veggies to various flower beds at the complex but now there is a permanent, designated, raised bed. Larry went the extra step and put some chicken wire barriers around the new bed, to keep the deer from grazing. Next year our hope is the “one” bed will have an offspring, if the residents will use it.
Challenges: As bright and hopeful that this project was, the residents didn’t embrace it well. When I followed up with people in a couple of the units, they said they hadn’t been to the bed at all, but that some of the food had been delivered to their door. At the same time, that person was complaining about the cost of produce at the grocery store. Utilmately lt’s much like leading a horse to water – they have to want to drink.
One great thing that happened, was the community feed back for doing this project. The neighbours, the Armstrong Legion, relatives of the residents, and Communities in Bloom volunteers all recognize the value of the Neighbourhood Small Grant program, and how small amounts of seed money can bring volunteers and services in kind together, to make very worthwhile projects come to fruition. We are ever so grateful to this program, and I will forever be an advocate to encourage people to apply. Your small grants DO make big things happen!!!
I will follow through next year, to make sure that bed is planted again. When I followed up last month, “Larry” suggested we plant the bed in items that can be stored past the summer months, ie: onions, garlic etc. For sure we’ll give that a try in 2023.
Thank you trusting in us to spend wisely, and to bring neighbourhoods together. During the winter, I’ll give this more thought to see if there could be a better way to encourage residents to take a stronger interest in the garden!!
Project Leader: Shirley Fowler