Gardeners are looking forward to the future

Gardeners are looking forward to the future
Originally published in Estevan Lifestyles
June 18, 2015 12:01 AM

Marking its second growing season in Estevan, the community garden hosted a partnership announcement on Monday. The message was growth.

The event launched the partnership between the local gardeners and the University of Regina. It’s a partnership that’s part of the Fulbright Canada-RBC Eco-Leadership Program, and through that program, the community garden has received $4,000 in grant funding.

For the gardeners, these signs of growth and success show their efforts are paying off. And they have no desire to slow down.

During Monday’s announcement, gardeners, young and old, and students from St. Mary’s School, who also have a garden plot, met at the garden on Lynd Crescent. The intergenerational gathering showed the garden has brought a varied group from around Estevan together.

“It’s part of our whole mandate of getting out their and being involved in the community,” said Hanna Keating, community garden board member.

As for the grant, she said there are plans in the works. “I think it means more success for us.

I think it means bigger and better things.”

She noted the group wants to expand the garden that is already there, while ultimately looking at larger future locations. Students from the New Portal alternative school campus have been building the raised bed plots and Keating said there is another one planned to go in this year.

“We’re hoping to have some in-ground beds as well, to plant more potatoes or corn, a tall-standing thing like that, where it wouldn’t grow so well in a raised bed. And then, maybe, we can move to a new area of the city.”

Lori Tulloch, Sun Country’s regional director for population health, said health means a lot more than getting one’s blood pressure checked on a regular basis.

“Population health is the bigger picture of health promotion and prevention,” said Tulloch.

“It’s food, but it’s also about socialization and the intermingling of people from (young) to the folks who just moved into a condo and want tot keep busy by growing their own produce.”

She noted there is also a passing of knowledge, those gardeners who know more about carrots may share their expertise, while someone who has grown tomatoes for 20 years can provide a few tips in that regard.

“It’s the sharing of it, that’s part of ongoing learning – from how do you can tomatoes to the nutritional value of things.”

Aside from nutrition and activity, the community garden also has a stake in improving one’s mental health.

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