Plans for Meaford’s community garden at Georgian Bay Secondary School are underway

As we move into the second year of this project we feel lucky that the ECO class (Environment, Community and Outdoors) have again, welcomed the community into their ‘backyard’.

Golden Town Outreach Food Bank and Transition Meaford, partners in this venture are looking forward to an early planting in the shared veggie patch.

The garden is the classroom to Mark Grahlman, soil expert and local organic farmer. Huddling with students over a patch of soil is second nature to Mark. Again this year, he will volunteer practical advice and guidance.

In keeping with the guiding principles of the ECO class the  goal is to reduce the carbon footprint and nurture the soil’s microbial community.

Since gas roto-tillers increase our carbon footprint and create tsunami-like devastation to the microbial community living in the soil; the roto-tiller is out and digging forks are in.

At different layers in the soil you find different microorganisms. The digging forks will be used to manually aerate the soil and cause minimal disturbance to the layers; a gentle soil lifting without turning. This organic farming practice is essential for enhancing long term soil health and productivity.

“We’re thrilled with this year’s plan for individual plots. The willingness of students to help with some of the more demanding aeration of the soil is heart-warming. We appreciate the need to strengthen our connections with theECO class.” commented Mary Bryant, the local food bank representative.

There are a limited number of individual plots available to people who see value in joining this leading edge approach to organic gardening.

In keeping with the generosity of the high school, the only cost to a ‘citizen gardener” is sweat equity and a willingness to share some of their produce with the food bank.

Once again, the local food bank will be the beneficiary of the produce grown by the ECO class.

Youth are leading the way with their earth-friendly and community-minded plans for the 2012 shared garden.

Definitions of success have evolved beyond the harvest!

Interested in being a citizen gardener?  Call Lindy 538-0167 or Mary 538-2558

One response to “Plans for Meaford’s community garden at Georgian Bay Secondary School are underway

  1. We lived in the Jupiter area for awhile and grew a rdgaen. This month is the time to plant veggies for that climate. The soil is the biggest thing since it is so sandy. We made 4 x10 x6″ raised beds and filled with top soil and compost. We used plastic fencing for this but you could also use an untreated wood. It depends on how big a rdgaen you want. Corn takes a lot of space and with those afternoon storms gets blown over easily. Beans, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers and much more can be grown. Squash and zucchini are easy but take up some space, 4-6 between rows. with anything you grow, you will need to weed between the rows and around the plants. A “stir-up hoe” makes weeding a snap. You just rake it along the soil and it cuts off the weeds around a 1/4″ below the soil. Weeds with no sunlight don’t grow. Once the plants are around 8-10″ tall, you might want to mulch around them. This helps to keep the weeds down and retains moisture so you don’t have to water all the time. Keep in mind that a rdgaen needs an 1″ of water a week.P.S. Watch out for mole crickets. They are a nasty little bug that can devour a whole bunch of roots in one night. Check out the University of Florida’s web sight for more info on these little bugs. Good luck.References :