We've enjoyed an extraordinarily mild winter this year, although the pessimist in me is certain the weather gods will make us pay later, probably in May. And even though we haven’t had to endure knee-deep snow and weeks of frigid temperatures, it’s still a relief to know the official start of spring is imminent. We’re all searching for the slightest tinge of green in the landscape to reassure us that everything has not been irreversibly desiccated by the incessant winds that have plagued southern Alberta. The hardcore gardeners have been nursing their seedlings along for weeks already. And the procrastinating gardeners, like myself, are surveying with regret the soggy piles of leaves and perennials that we neglected to clean up last fall.
If you’re an urban Calgarian wishing for your own soggy pile of leaves or a place to plant your seedlings, you’ll be interested in an upcoming program on Community Gardening in Calgary at Memorial Park Library. There’s been a surge in urban agriculture over the past few years: more people are growing vegetables, fruits and herbs in their own yards, and community gardens and orchards are proliferating rapidly. There are approximately 52 public community gardens in Calgary now, up from 21 in 2009, and just 9 in 2008.
Apart from the obvious benefit of being able to consume fresh, flavourful produce, there are myriad reasons why you might want to join a community garden including: practicing sustainable living, improving the urban environment, being physically active and creating connections within your community.
To learn more about community gardening in Calgary, register for our program on Saturday, March 24, presented by the Calgary Horticultural Society. And check out these links to more resources and information:
Community Gardening - Calgary Horticultural Society