Tuesday, April 7, 2015

UNA Children's Garden

There’s a small gem hidden in the heart of our town.  You might already know about it but just not realize it.  It’s the UNA Children’s Garden.  It's tucked in beside the Old Barn Community Centre.  The garden brings together all kinds of people, all ages, and all interests.  Its a place where children of every age can have fun, work, and learn!

A lot of people talk about sustainability, food security, and community building.  Getting a chance to do something about often lags far behind stirring words. Eight years ago a small group of neighbours saw the need of putting words into action. With the approval of the UNA Board this small group of people broke sod and proceeded to transform the landscaping into a productive organic community garden.  Today the children’s garden boasts a mini orchard of 5 apple trees, a plum tree, a row of blueberries, and an array of vegetable crops.

The garden is community driven.  Participation is open to anyone in our community who is willing to spend some time in the garden.  The opportunities vary throughout the year.  Winter brings a brief quiet time followed by an increasing level of activity as the garden starts growing.  From June to September garden produce is sold on Saturday mornings.  The garden is financially self-sufficient.  The UNA advances funding to pay for materials needed for the garden over the winter. The summer produce sales refund (usually at a modest surplus) the cash advanced by the UNA.

There are lots of opportunities for participation.  This spring the stewards of the garden coordinated a series of four workshops for children of all ages to learn about apple pruning, natural cosmetics, soils, and probiotic sodas.  Regular work parties focus on sharing knowledge.  There is almost always someone doing something most weekends. Children and youth are particularly encouraged to join in the weekly Saturday morning work parties and garden sales that start up in June once fruit and produce begin to ripen. Check out the garden blog https://unacg2014.wordpress.com

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