Tis the season for flowers to be a'blooming...

incrEDIBLE trail: Garden in the Gulch grows with care, volunteer efforts

"The bright coloured boxes add some needed pizzazz along that road. But even bigger ideas are in the works."

You may have noticed the bright colored planters on the east side of Rossland Avenue across from Trail Bottle Depot on the plot where the bus stop is located. This container garden is a project that enhances Trail and helps to feed hungry people. IncrEDIBLE Trail is the name of the group of people who started and who sustain this garden. The produce is dispersed to area food banks including churches and Salvation Army. Very soon additional containers will be added to the site. Every attempt has been made to include the people that benefit the most. Besides putting food in their mouths, the garden is a place they can learn to grow vegetables. Their children are included as much as feasible, so that the idea of food security can reach the upcoming generations.

Why am I talking about this? Because I am a charter member of IncrEDIBLE Trail and this project is dear to my heart. We are very much still learning to garden in containers.

Planting seeds directly into the soil works fine as long as someone waters regularly. That would be every day until the seed breaks the surface. Planting from starts is a sure thing to a point. You don’t have to wonder if the seeds will grow, but there is no guarantee of produce or plant at the end of the growing season. This year we have already planted peas, lettuce, chard, beets and spinach. Garlic was planted last fall and is a gorgeous stand. John Abernante of Earthy Organics has started additional lettuce, tomatoes and peppers. I have squash and basil growing in my home to be added. Green beans will be planted directly. Because we are trying to keep the garden organic, we have chosen not to plant vegetables that often require insecticides such as carrots and onions.

The bright coloured boxes add some needed pizzazz along that road. But even bigger ideas are in the works. Home Hardware has given IncrEDIBLE Trail a very good deal on a gazebo that will enhance the area also.

IncrEDIBLE Trail started by asking downtown merchants to plant veggies outside their establishments. Those veggies were free for the taking. That program is ongoing. Please pick only what you will eat, and wash the food prior to eating it. Refrain from using these planters as ashtrays and garbage cans. That certainly discourages people from trying to do something nice to improve our town. Tell the merchants how much you appreciate their efforts.

Being a member of IncrEDIBLE Trail has been a wonderful experience. The other members are dedicated to giving back to the town they call home. We will always accept new volunteers. Your paycheck will include, but not be limited to, friendships, a sense of purpose, opportunities to work without having to pay taxes on your “earnings,” and the wonderful feeling of knowing you have made a difference in the life of someone who needs a hand. You can email incredibletrail@gmail.com for information on meetings.

Connie Smith is an avid gardener who enjoys participating in incrEDIBLE trail and Communities in Bloom.

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