PEI Food Exchange launches Garden Share website

The PEI Food Exchange is trying to make it easier for people who don’t have a garden of their own to find a place to plant.

The new website will help connect gardeners with people who don't have a garden

Pauline Howard (left) says community garden plots are filling up, so PEI Food Exchanged created the Garden Share website to help meet demands. (Randy McAndrew/CBC)

The PEI Food Exchange is trying to make it easier for people who don't have a garden of their own to find a place to plant.

"There's more and more people interested in growing their own food. And you know this has been sort of in the air. But it seems to have popped this year," said Pauline Howard, a member of PEI Food Exchange.

The group has created a website called Garden Exchange, where people who want to garden, and people with extra garden space to share can find each other.

Community gardens filling up

The PEI Food Exchange aims to help people access healthy, local, affordable food.

Howard said since the group started in 2013 — and particularly in the last year — she has noticed an increased interest in P.E.I. of people wanting to grow some of their own food.

Howard is part of leadership team from Desbrisay Community Garden in Charlottetown. The garden has 21 plots and has eight people on the waiting list, something Howard said she hasn't seen in the past.

Stephanie Palmer recently moved to downtown Charlottetown and has a plot at Desbrisay Garden. (Randy McAndrew/CBC)

Stephanie Palmer recently moved to downtown Charlottetown and has a plot at Desbrisay garden. Palmer has grown some of her own food in the past, and wanted to keep doing that in Charlottetown.

"We have a little bit more limited space here in Charlottetown, so community gardens are a great way to have some space to grow food," said Palmer.

Howard said the Garden Exchange website was created in response to the growing demand for garden plots.

People who can't garden anymore

The site is similar to websites like Kijiji, where people can post wanted or needed ads.

Pauline Howard said she hopes the Garden Share website will be useful for people who don't have their own garden, as well as for those who can no longer maintain their garden. (Randy McAndrew/CBC)

Howard said as well as being useful for people looking for a place to grow vegetables, she hopes people who are no longer able to do their own gardening will find the site helpful.

"For example … someone who's not able to lift things, but still wants to keep their garden, they can get together and share this space. They can share the produce that comes out of it, or they can make whatever arrangement they want," said Howard.

Other initiatives 

PEI Food Exchange is also making other efforts to encourage and help people to grow their own food.

This summer the group will offer a program to train 12 people to be "garden mentors."

Those mentors will then share their knowledge with beginner gardeners who want to set up a first garden.