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Growing Gardens, Building Communities PDF Print E-mail

[to Spring 2005 update]

 

August 2004

 

In November 2003, Cowichan Green Community initiated the idea of starting a community garden, Jubilee Gardens, in  Centennial Park in Duncan, B.C. Cowichan Community Land Trust and the Vancouver Foundation backed this dream and made it a reality. The two people who supervise the garden currently are Carol Sim and Christine Pollard. Carol is the "Garden Mentor" who tends the garden and helps the people gardening there. Christine is the Project Manager. Currently, both staff are funded by the Vancouver Foundation but only for a limited time. The jubilee Garden committee feels that through mentoring this initial group of gardeners, these gardeners will pass on their training to new gardeners and garden will be self-sufficient. 

 

Two parts of the Jubilee Gardens are the Communal Beds and the Allotment beds. Dinters Nursery generously supplied plants for both of these beds. When plants come in and can't be planted right away a local neighbour, Sharon Jackson, holds the plants and waters them regularly.The communal beds are worked on by anyone in the community. Any of the food produced by the beds is given to the local Food Bank. Allotment beds, on the other hand, are worked by individuals or groups for a nominal cost of $20.00. A variety of groups, for example, the Cowichan Valley Intercultural and Immigrant Society, the Seniors Advisory Committee, Duncan Manor (Senior Housing), and Community Kitchens are involved. 


Partners has helped with the Jubilee Gardens by adding a shed to their premises. With the help of the Maxwell International Baha'i School and their fundraising, we were able to buy the material which built this shed. Inside they store their materials and things the garden needs to keep running. 

 

Some goals of Jubilee Gardens include: Adding 20 beds to their 10 allotment beds, and increasing size of communal beads in order to donate more food to the food bank. They would also like to have everyone who works in the garden, achieve food security. 


They invite everyone to come down to the garden and have a look. In the fall they plan to have workshops on Saturdays with topics like composting, Butterfly gardeners and Snake pit gardens. 
 

People in the Valley can help also. If you happen to have any food from fruit trees or gardens, that you are willing to offer, please email us at and we can set up a task force to take this food to the Food Banks. 


Author: Anis Atrchi 
 

2005 Spring Greetings from Jubilee Community Garden

 

We are beginning our 2nd season in Centennial Park in downtown Duncan, a lot earlier than last year. We have 13 returning gardeners and 13 new ones, with more interested. Although it's been rainy and cool, the gardeners have been busy making new beds in both the allotment area and the communal part. An Entrance Garden has been added, across from the shed, with flowering shrubs and perennials brought from our homes. There will be a Children's Garden this year, with pie-shaped beds that radiate out from a big fennel plant. We are busy making more beds for all of our new gardeners and seeding our crops. 

The group has Society status now and everyone is pitching in to make this season a success. We continue to be blessed with support and donations from the community. 

Recent spring events in the Garden:
30 April - Plant Sale at City Square Market, and Worm Demonstration 
14 May - Master Gardeners' Plant Clinic 
15 May - Gardeners' Pot Luck 

Source: Christine Pollard, 
Horticultural Therapist Masters Level, 
Co-Chair BC Chapter of the CHTA, 
Home Farm, Duncan, BC, Canada 
tel. 250-748-1777