PEI

Summerside community garden looks for new members

A new community garden in the heart of Summerside is offering up free veggies and the opportunity to learn how to grow your own food.

Summerside community garden teaches you how to plant and grow, plus you get to share too

Jessica MacFadzen-Reid started the community garden in Summerside when she moved to the city last year. (CBC)

A new community garden in the heart of Summerside is offering up free veggies and the opportunity to learn how to grow your own food.

It's amazing how many people don't know the first thing about how their vegetables and fruit are grown.- Colin MacLean

Jessica MacFadzen-Reid started the Notre Dame Community Garden last year when she moved to P.E.I.

She had spent several years in Newfoundland, where she also helped run a garden.

"I got to see how easy it was to set up a garden, and to run it," said MacFadzen-Reid.

"When I got here, there had been a couple of community gardens that had been started and abandoned. I knew it wouldn't be a hard thing to do, I just needed to get the word out."

'A part of the community'

A local realtor donated the green space, and the city donated all of the soil.

A local hardware store supplied the wood, and area farmers came through with hundreds of seedlings.

MacFadzen-Reid said they initially had so many donations, they had to turn some away last year.

"It's great! You know what, the best thing about it is having a garden where everyone is equally giving, and it really is a part of the community, because everybody's hand is in it," she said.

"We're there every Thursday evening, and people are driving by, they honk and wave and come up and say, 'I see you in the garden, what's happening?'"

Members of the community garden are given instructions on how to grow their own food, and everyone shares in the produce once harvested. (CBC)

Everyone shares

It's free to join, and everyone shares the produce.

Last year they grew tomatoes, kale, cabbages, broccoli, Swiss chard, eggplant, and herbs.

MacFadzen-Reid hopes to have different crops this year, and they've already planted garlic, chives, and rhubarb.

She says the focus of the garden is to teach people how to grow their own food.

Member Colin MacLean feels community gardens create beauty in the community while also serving a purpose. (CBC)

Serving a purpose

"I just love the idea of community gardens," said Colin MacLean, one of a half-dozen people to get involved last year.

"They create beauty in the community while also serving a purpose. It's amazing how many people don't know the first thing about how their vegetables and fruit are grown. These little oases of greenery help create knowledge and understanding."

This year MacLean and MacFadzen-Reid hope to get as many people involved as they can, especially low-income families. They meet every Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

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