As the white blanket of winter covers the city, a group of incrEDIBLE growers are already planning for a greener Trail in the new year.
Besides encouraging local merchants and downtown services to grow edibles in their storefronts for a second year, the project’s committee already has a special event in the works that really gets to the root of the initiative.
“One of the things we already decided to do next year is have a ‘Seedy Saturday,’” said incrEDIBLE volunteer Gina Ironmonger. “It’s a big thing because when you think about this community, we have seeds here that are hundreds of years old that are acclimatized to this region. It’s a good thing to retain that knowledge and that seed in this area.”
There’s also been a lot of chit chat about finding a space to plant a shareable and teaching community garden on the incrEDIBLE green route next summer, which adds to the project’s ultimate goal of highlighting local food security and sustainability.
“We don’t have a location yet and we still need volunteers,” Ironmonger noted. “But there has been an awful lot of interest and discussion and we hope to bring in other communities.”
The army of incrEDIBLE trail volunteers who range in age from six to senior and includes everyone from police officers and chefs to support workers and number crunchers, were given a growing nod on Wednesday evening during a potluck dinner in the Local 480 hall.
CIBC Branch Manager Melissa Ganzeveld and her son Dylan, 7, were two of about 50 incrEDIBLE growers who gathered for the year end wind up, and both are already planning what to grow next season.
“The pepper plants were really popular because they kept growing more after the people picked them,” said Ganzeveld. “Next year we are going to make it even bigger by introducing more planters and an area inside with gardening tools and bags for people to carry home the vegetables they pick.”
Outside of Trail, the greening project received kudos on the international level after two Communities in Bloom (CiB) judges visited the area in July.
The idea was deemed ‘nice for the eyes, good for the belly’ at the annual CiB awards conference, and given special mention noting the abundance of vegetables that were free for the picking with surplus given to the local food banks.
Aside from sprucing up downtown Trail with edible landscapes, the project brought out the community of the city, which is a perk that Ironmonger maintains is a bonus to the incrEDIBLE plan.
More than just fresh produce, the idea had people meeting for the first time, some who’d been working on the same street for years, and it encouraged those walking by the planters to stop, have a look and maybe even stay for a chat.
There were a few hiccups when on occasion, whole plants were dug up outside a local food bank and from a string of downtown Trail businesses. But even those setbacks were met with an instant response.
“People showed up that morning with plants, to replace what was lost,” said Ironmonger. “It was really something.”
But another incrEDIBLE volunteer, Ingrid Enns, already has a suggestion for the “over zealous gardener.”
“Come and join the committee,” she said “We can use your help.”
For information or to join the incrEDIBLE trail team, contact Ironmonger at 368.6855 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
See photos on Page 8 and Page 16.