by Claire Schwarzenberger
This growing year has been very successful so far. It started out quite rainy, and it was a bit scary leaving all of our little plants out in the cold, BUT it paid off and now our gardens are gorgeous. The gardens are located at the Quails Art Gallery just past the Seniors Centre.
It all starts with the educational part of the growing season. Thanks to a grant from CIBC we have a teacher who visits each school including OK Falls Elementary school this year and teaches the students some basics about growing food. The students then walk down to the gardens and plant their veggies in their school’s bed. We must thank all the teachers for their help in making this possible.
This year, we planted all kinds of vegetables: squashes (including spaghetti, and pumpkin), tomatoes, peppers, carrots, beets, cabbage, cucumbers, sunflowers cantaloupe and even marigolds. It is amazing how everything is growing!!! The trick to our success this year is that automatic sprinklers were installed. A big thank you to the irrigation team of Sandra, Luke, Juleen and Mal for all their hard work to make this possible!
The food that is grown at the gardens will be shared by the Oliver Food Bank and the weekly Farm to School Salad Bar Program at Tuc-el-Nuit and Oliver Elementary schools. The harvest will be great this year. It will be fun to keep track of the food that is picked.
The students that are attending the summer art program at the Quail’s Nest Art Centre are getting the opportunity to see more of the growing cycle and help out by keeping the weeds down – if everybody helps it make for less work. They are also making some amazing art projects, some of which will stay in the garden for everyone to enjoy.
Take some time this summer to go down to the gardens and see what is growing as well as to see the children in action every Saturday with the fantastic art lessons that are connecting art with gardening – a perfect match! Eat healthy, Eat with friends, Eat local.
Photo Credit: Leza Macdonald