Digging the Tri-Cities in a Community Garden

Port Coquitlam Community Garden

With Earth Day coming up this weekend, it seemed a fitting time to discuss community garden options here in the Tri-Cities.

Want a patch of earth to call your own but live in an apartment? That’s where a Tri-Cities community garden comes in! At this time of year thoughts often turn to gardening and growing and for a large group of Tri-Cities citizens that means heading to their own little patch of heaven on earth. There are folks from all walks of life (though 18-30 year-olds are under-represented!) spending a few hours a week tending their plots and also helping out with common areas at any one of the Tri-Cities community gardens. Plots range in size but go up to about 250 square feet which provides plenty of growing space.

Most Tri-Cities gardeners choose to grow crops consisting of common table vegetables like peas, carrots, beans, beets, tomatoes, cucumbers and squash. Many community gardeners also add such things as hairy melons, edamame, shiso leaf, celeriac, and tromboncini squash that feature in cuisines from around the world. Add some herbs to flavour your favourite dishes and you have a satisfying start to some great meals. Some folks add flowers to their vegetable gardens for visual appeal and have created a wonderful place to spend an afternoon of toil in the soil.

Community garden sites include composting, rain barrels and often some orientation and practical tips on gardening in addition to a sense of community thanks to the many volunteers that help to run and maintain the gardens. And the good feeling that comes with getting your hands dirty doesn’t end with the weekend as I found out from Liz Hansen, the contact person for the Burquitlam Organic Garden. In the Burquitlam garden there are 5 plots set aside specifically for growing vegetables to be donated to the SHARE Society Food Bank, and last year the garden was able to produce and donate over 1500 pounds of vegetables! Even if you have no interest in taking on a plot of your own, I encourage you to visit a community garden as they are well maintained and a nice place for a stroll.

New gardeners of any skill level are welcome but unfortunately wait lists are long at the Port Coquitlam, Colony Farm, Burquitlam and Inlet community gardens. This means that if you want a community garden plot, you need to think ahead, and put your name in early. If you are interested in joining a wait list here is some contact information for you:

  • Colony Farm Community Garden – Email cfcgplots@hotmail.com
  • Burquitlam Community Organic Garden – Email Liz at lizhansen2001@hotmail.com
  • Inlet Community Garden in Port Moody – Contact Dot at 604-939-5592
  • Port Coquitlam Community Garden – Call Marco at 604-945-0335

From everyone at TheV3H.com, happy growing and happy Earth Day!

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