Column: The Wheelbarrow Gardener

Thyme to grow a green thumb!

submitted by Valerie Loseth, The Wheelbarrow Gardener

With the recent warm temperatures and the increasing amount of daylight hours, those of us with a green hue to our thumbs are itching to get back into the garden. We long to feel the dirt under our fingernails and the sun on the back of our necks. We have probably looked at a seed catalogue or two already this year and we are having to make the tough decision as to what new variety of vegetable or flower we are going to try our hand at growing this season. We have a plan a timeline and the resources to make that happen.

Now what is one to do, if you desire to learn about gardening and or you want to try your hand at growing a garden, but the closest thing you’ve done to harvesting vegetables is pulling the frozen bag of kernel corn from your freezer?
Well, you could go to the library and grab a handful of books and try to decifer the terminology and concepts between the covers. You could park yourself on the sofa with the tv tuned to the gardening channel, and try to remember what that gardening expert from down east said was the proper fertilizer to use in the spring, and which one you use in the fall, or you could join the Morinville Centennial Community Gardens Society.

This not for profit society is compiled of a group of like minded individuals of all ages who exhibit a vast amount of garden knowledge and expertise. These gardeners are brimming with info, ideas and strategies that they are more than willing to share with anyone who is interested and willing to listen. It is a myth that you have to rent a garden to belong to the society. There is no monetary cost to join the society, however, there are a few basic requirements to become an active member of our gardening community.

You must be willing to:

A) Be open and willing to learn about organic gardening following the principles of the building of the soil and the use of natural fertilizers and pesticides.

B) Become an active member in contributing to the building and upkeep of the gardens by sharing your time and talents through volunteer hours.

C) Want to help create accessible garden spaces throughout town that operate on the principles of inclusion and respect for each other and the environment.

D) Enjoy spending time outside with some very friendly and down to earth people.

The garden members have been active in the community for the past three years, building two community gardens, hosting gardening and cooking classes, along with promoting and working with other similar initiatives such as the Farmer’s market, the Incredible Edible Initiative and the more recently formed Urban Agriculture Class at the high school. They continue to build and develop the different phases of the gardens and look for other ways to get the community involved in sustainable food and living practices. They want to grow and cultivate a community.

One of their goals this year is to host a community meal, sitting down to eat right in the middle of the street using the 100 mile diet concept. Promoting and engaging local meat, dairy, vegetable and grain producers to provide a culinary experience the likes of which Morinville has not seen before. However, in order to continue with their mission and goals they are in need of additional members. Members who see the value in the society and have the desire to see the gardens continue to grow and succeed. To learn more about who they are, what they do, and garden plots available please join them for their Annual General Meeting on Tuesday March 11th at 7 pm at the Morinville Public Library community room.
You can contact them through email at gardeninfo@morinvillecommunitygardens.com or visit their website Morinvillecommunitygardens.com.

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