incrEDIBLE trail: Here comes summer

"With summer approaching, gardening chores change from planning and dreaming, to doing and digging."

With summer approaching, gardening chores change from planning and dreaming, to doing and digging.

Many of you have undoubtedly taken advantage of the early warm weather and have already planted gardens. Volunteers from incrEDIBLE trail, planting 16 very colourful containers that will live on Rossland Avenue across from The Colombo

Lodge and near to Kate’s Kitchen. The location is significant for several reasons. The produce from the vegetable plants will be harvested to benefit Kate’s Kitchen and also

Trail’s other two food banks/kitchens, the United Church and St. Andrew’s Anglican

Church. Rossland Avenue desperately needs a facelift. Hopefully, these planters will inspire some of the owners of the buildings on this avenue to repair and paint. This is a major thoroughfare in our city that does not reflect the people of this town well.

A third reason for choosing the Rossland Avenue site was a desire to engage the people who would benefit from the produce. Working with the Salvation Army, we hope to identify individuals who get meals at Kate’s Kitchen and would be potential gardeners. The idea is to help them help themselves by tending these containers.

This project is a fine example of what a few people with big ideas and extra energy can accomplish.

These planters are the result of a dream to stock food banks with healthy produce and at the same time engage the community. The dream as it has been answered is much bigger than the dream as it was originally conceived.

We hoped to place 11 planters along Rossland Avenue at that empty site. We have placed 16! Who is this “we” who has accomplished so much? It started with incrEDIBLE trail looking for a way to expand. The seed money was going to be from grants. But as the idea took on a life of its own, 11 planters became 16. A grant became that plus individuals and businesses that purchased planters for donation. That was wonderful.

But the dream kept being watered and it kept growing and producing. Along comes Alpine Landscaping, Warren Bond, Trail Area Health and Environment, and volunteers. The volunteers showed up with plants, seeds, hand tools and heart. They were old, young, male, female, and knowledgeable about gardening and amateurs. Planters were filled with dirt, amended with additives like manure, planted and watered.

Because this site hosts a bus stop, school children are getting a little extra attention and some gardening education from talking carrots and hot chili peppers. These children are eager learners and delightful to be around.

You are invited to enjoy the planters, but the produce is earmarked for charity. One of our future goals is to realize a community garden where lots can be rented for a growing season.

Also as we move into summer, the Garden Contest is coming around the bend. Start sprucing up your private gardens. Prizes are cash awards.

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