Fresh off the vine: News from your local Old Ottawa East Community Garden

By Heidi Monk

The Old Ottawa East Community Garden is off to another great season, with a little jungle of goodness growing behind Saint Paul University to the delight of more than 50 gardeners, and many passers-by.

A huge delivery of compost at the beginning of the season that was tilled into the soil to enhance its nutrient structure, combined with the sunshine, rain and of course planting and weeding is showing great results.

In June, the OOECG participated in the national Garden Days celebration, inviting the community to tour the garden.Visitors received small plants and refreshments. Events across the country emphasised enjoying one’s garden, getting inspired at a local garden centre or traveling to a public garden.

This year, OOECG visitors noticed signs indicating rows being grown for the food bank. This is a new initiative coordinated by Linda Rankin, the food plot coordinator to increase donations from the garden. In previous summers, the food bank has expressed its gratitude in receiving fresh vegetables. It is another reason gardeners enjoy gardening.

The main contributions will be beets, carrots and potatoes. Beyond the rows grown specifically for the food bank, gardeners can contribute to a weekly basket.

Taking a stroll around the plots, as local NDP Member of Parliament Paul Dewar did during the tour,  visitors see a variety of other plants, including tomatoes, spinach, kale, beans, fennel, peppers, peas, zucchini, strawberries, gooseberries, as well as a wide selection of herbs (mint, basil, parsley, dill, cilantro) and flowers.

The garden is a busy place this summer, given the construction on Main Street and the Oblate land. In the past, gardeners would use part of the Oblate land for compost. Now, they have moved this directly to their individual plots.

Even though the Garden Days event has passed, don’t be shy – stop by for a look and a chat. More often than not one of us is around and it happy to show off our plots. Like us on Facebook “Old Ottawa East Community Garden”, or check out our blog: https://oldottawaeastcommunitygarden.wordpress.com/

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