Thursday, January 21, 2021

Community Turning Patch of Grass Into Edible Garden

Helen Solmes

Victoria Village residents pitched in on September 26 to convert a patch of grass into a grove of fruit-bearing shrubs that are expected to produce berries in one to two years.

The grove was made possible with a $3,500 grant from Tree Canada, a national non-profit organization that promotes and facilitates green infrastructures through tree planting. To date, more than 82 million trees have been planted through the Tree Canada program.

The grove includes haskap, red and black currants, blackberries, raspberries, Siberian pea shrubs, jostaberries, and Saskatoon berries.

Transition Meaford volunteers, Grey County representatives, and Victoria Village residents took turns preparing the ground and planting the shrubs while practising social distancing, according to Meaford Community Gardens coordinator Simona Freibergova. “Twenty five people alternated for the planting due to COVID-19 restrictions,” she said.

Most berries like acidic soil, therefore we added peat moss, coffee grounds from McGinty’s, and goat manure. We followed permaculture design and applied no-till gardening techniques. We sheet mulched the whole area with cardboard.

The vision is to take climate actions seriously and plant edibles on the lawns that would normally just get cut several times during the season.”

The grove will be maintained by the community garden team and residents of Victoria Village.

Photo: Victoria Village residents Coby and Tanya Van Hemmen helped plant fruit-bearing shrubs that are expected to produce a variety of berries in one to two years.

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