Dallington Pollinators community garden will comprise of three parts:
The communal garden will be open to all residents in the neighbourhood. There will be communal plots, no allotment plots, where the idea will be to work collectively and collaboratively. Only groups associated with community organisations will be offered plots. We have had talks with some of our partner organisations, like Oriole Foodspace, who will be offered plots.
The produce of the garden will be offered to the volunteers working at the garden and a part of the produce will be donated to the Harvest Food Bank.
We will encourage those amongst you who have gardening skills, or a love of gardening, and even those who want to learn about gardening and horticulture, to please come forward and take part in the project. The idea of a communal garden is to give residents in the neighbourhood a chance to interact with each other, share stories and gardening techniques from their countries and to make it a place of learning and exchange. To make it a truly intergenerational garden, we will strongly encourage grandparents and seniors to volunteer and pass on their knowledge to the eager young children.
This section will be open to schools and has roughly 16 garden plots. Dallington School being one of our partners will be participating in the garden. We have invited the neighbourhood schools to take advantage of the garden plots as well.
The idea of a children’s garden is to engage young minds and teach them about food systems, growing food organically, healthy soils, habitat conservation and sustainable growing methods. It will reinforce and enhance their curriculum with hands-on activities and enriched learning experiences. With the incorporation of a learning circle, we hope to turn the garden into an “outdoor nature lab”.
This section is dedicated to our little pollinator friends who we take for granted. Without their tireless effort and help, we will not be able to enjoy the fruits and vegetables that we enjoy all year long, in case of Canada, all summer long! These tiny creatures have the most important task, that of pollination. We know that over recent years, their population has been under threat and scientists are trying to figure out the reason for their decline. Some of the obvious reasons are habitat loss, use of fertilisers and pesticides and electro-magnetic radiation from various sources.
Our garden will use organic and sustainable methods of gardening where the idea will be to enrich the soil using compost. We will also use mixed cropping techniques instead of laying out an “all-you-can-eat menu” for pests and diseases.
In the next phase, we want to incorporate permaculture techniques and other sustainable gardening techniques as well as rain-water harvesting to conserve water. The garden will provide a great opportunity for students to learn and try their hands at sustainable gardening and designing.
- Right after breaking ground on 20 August, 2013, we planted the garden beds with cover crops: barley, buckwheat, oats and radishes. These crops will help enrich the soil and will be mowed down before they reach maturity, thus adding back healthy nutrients to the soil over winter.
- We are working on selecting native plants for the Pollinator garden and are in the process of forming a sub-committee for plant selection. If anyone is interested in joining and has the time to spare, let us know via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ground-breaking event: We will be hosting a ground-breaking event in October. If you wish to be part of the planning committee, again, we will encourage you to e-mail us at: email@example.com
Important note: Children will need to be supervised in the garden at all times. Please feel free to visit but make sure that the children and adults follow the rules and guidelines that will be put up on the garden shed!
Stay tuned for further news and updates. Wishing everyone a happy back to school month!