The green Thumb Garden Society is closing down its community gardens for the winter following a successful summer.
That means making sure everyone with a garden plot harvests their food and giving out extra potatoes to those who need them, says garden society secretary Noelle Bulleid.
The society’s community gardens include the larger one on Evergreen Ave. and a smaller one on Apsley St. with about 90 plots in total, she says.
In addition to individuals and families growing gardens, many groups have joined too, she adds. “It’s pretty big now,” says Bulleid.
Every year, anyone interested in having a garden and those who had a garden the previous year have to apply for one, and the latter will get the same plot again unless they need a bigger one.
“If a family grows, it can get a larger plot,” she says.
This summer, the society brought in so much extra dirt, it created many new plots and every one was taken, she says.
“If we run out of space, we will need another acre or two somewhere else,” says Bulleid.
In future, the society would like to feed more people if it can get more land, she adds.
That includes teaching others how to garden or other details about gardening, she says.
“Some volunteers gave so much of their time,” says Bulleid.
“They’re getting up in their retire years but are so skilled in what they know.”
This year, so many things were grown at the gardens, including an orchard and grapes.
Another idea is to get more young people involved in gardening, including workshops and going into the schools and taking students out for a day at the garden.
That would include building an area for kids so they could go play in a sandbox or on swings and still learn about gardening.
An irrigation system was installed this year at the Evergreen location and nearly all of the garden plots are set up for the better water system, adds Bulleid.The installation of irrigation was completed this year to include the flower beds, she says.
A similar water system is planned in the budget for next year for the Apsley garden.
People can apply for a garden plot anytime during the year and an updated application form is set to be finished for the annual general meeting in January with information, regulations and guidelines, including companion gardening, which is details about what things should be planted next to each other.
“There’s so many people out there willing to teach about that. It’s great,” says Bulleid, adding that includes details such as how to layer dirt to make more worms come to your plot.
The community garden will “sleep” over the winter and early next year, the society will take a look at the greenhouse.
Volunteers are always needed and wanted and if anyone wants to help with upgrades or donate soil or other items, the society would love it.
“They can come out to the gardens and if they see people in there with shovels and rakes, they’re welcome to help out,” she says.
Bulleid is working on pamphlets to put out at different places around town and those interested in joining the group or getting a garden plot application form can contact her, president Barb Tetz, show up at one of the monthly meetings or the annual general meeting.
The gardens were part of the summer garden tour this year for the first time and plans are to be part of next year’s tour too.
“People were amazed,” she said about reactions to the community garden.