July 27, 2012

Free Food Friday

Free food - organic bounty from our community garden's mid-summer harvest 

This is the first year Linda and I have had a raised bed plot at our community garden. It is transforming our gardening knowledge, and the way we eat. It is also increasing our opportunities to meet more of our neighbours, and share ideas while increasing our food security.

After a stretch of sunny, hot weather on the coast, summer vegetables are being harvested by the bagful. We are learning more about planting now for our 'winter garden'. That's right - winter garden. In Canada this is a rare and special thing. We have never experienced it before.

Southern Vancouver Island enjoys a Mediterranean climate, so gardeners can choose from vegetables that can handle a light frost. Brussel sprouts, chard, kale, beets, greens, cabbage, carrots, and leeks are all being planted now for winter harvest. No way! But wait, it gets better.

A winter garden is low maintenance - no watering, no weeds, no bugs. Also, growth slows down, so it is gardening in slow motion. Perfect for the dark days of semi-hibernation ahead.

After surviving decades of sub-zero temperatures on the prairies, where the soil, and everything else, freezes to a depth of several centimeters, continuing to grow food through the winter will be a new experience.

I have to give a shout out to the fine folks at Sooke CHI that organized and manage the best community garden we have ever seen. With their help we are increasing our food security, enjoying the therapeutic benefits of growing our own food, and having a lot of fun too.

Sooke Community Health Initiative Goals

  • To grow and provide food and food growing opportunities to support the hungry in the community by establishing, operating and maintaining community gardens and food recovery programs
  • To educate the community about the need for and importance of local food production through workshops, seminars, community consultation, training, collaboration and mentoring
  • To educate the public on agriculture and farming
How are you increasing your food security?

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