News

Norwich Community Garden sprouting up again this year

By Jennifer Vandermeer, Norwich Gazette/IngersollTimes

The community garden that was built last year beside the Norwich Medical Centre is going ahead again this year. Planting day is May 27, when volunteers are asked to attend to sign the necessary waiver.

The community garden that was built last year beside the Norwich Medical Centre is going ahead again this year. Planting day is May 27, when volunteers are asked to attend to sign the necessary waiver.

The community garden project in Norwich has established enough roots to make a comeback this spring.

The planting day for the eight raised bed planters located beside the Norwich Medical Centre, is May 27.

Alisha Stubbs, who coordinates the garden with Jillian VandenBeukel and Lindsay Richardson this year, said all the plots will be available to the public to plant, maintain and harvest. Anyone who is interested in being involved in the gardens this year is asked to attend the planting day to sign the necessary waiver form. If you can't make it on May 27, a waiver can be emailed by contacting norwichcommunitygarden@gmail.com.

Last year was the first year for the garden, which Stubbs launched after getting much feedback from the community on her proposal. The idea behind the community garden was not only to provide a way for people to grow their own produce if they don't have room for a garden of their own, but also to promote camaraderie among those who contributed time to planting, weeding and general site upkeep.

"The idea of a community garden is to involve everyone - children, adults, seniors, literally everyone ," Stubbs said in an interview with the Gazette last year.

Everything came to fruition with donations of money, time and services from businesses and individuals in the area. Volunteers constructed the raised beds, and the first harvest included herbs, zucchini, peppers and tomatoes.

Stubbs said the organizers are accepting any donations again this year and already some are coming in.

“We could use any type of monetary donation for bed upkeep,” she said, adding more soil is needed in the beds. “We are also hoping for signage. Last year we had a laminated paper, but would love for there to be a nice sign outlining information about the garden.”

Stubbs said people were good to abide by the honour system of putting in the work before partaking of the rewards.

This is the second community garden in Norwich, although the first one is designed so that students at Emily Stowe Public School tend the gardens and share the harvest with others in the community.

Jacqueline Armstrong said the Upper Deck Youth Centre/ESPS garden started as a vision some years ago, but began in 2014 when volunteers from the two groups started a garden at the back of the school.