When KFLA Health Unit’s Healthy Kids Community Challenge met Christine Lavallee’s dream of a community garden, things really began to happen. On one of the hottest days of last week, teacher Jason Quenneville’s class descended on Inverary with safety glasses and power tools, to spend a day assembling six big frames for accessible raised gardens. These will be located in a sunny field just south of the village, adjacent to Lavallee’s kitchen and store, The Cookery.
Usually, community gardens are plots of land parcelled out to individuals, but Lavallee’s plan is much more communal and inclusive: many parts of the community have come together, drawn by her vision and enthusiasm. She and Cyndi Jones of KFLA Public Health list some of the partners in this project: South Frontenac Township, KFLA Health Unit, the School Board Office, the local 4-H club gardening club, Southern Frontenac Community Services, and many local volunteers. Donations of seeds and plants are arriving and by the time you read this, the gardens will have been planted.
Who’s going to tend the gardens, and who gets the produce?
“Anyone who wants fresh vegetables will be welcome to help themselves, no questions asked,” says Christine; “We just ask that they lend a hand with a bit of weeding or watering.” The Cookery’s chef, Ky Rundle, will teach young people how to cook vegetables they may not be familiar with. Excess vegetables will be canned or stored for winter and distributed through the Inverary United Church.
Planning to drive out the Perth Road this summer? Drop by and collect a fresh warm tomato and maybe a pepper or two, pull a few dandelions, have a chat with Christine about the gardens, think about whether this might work where you live.
Pictured: the work crew, with Chef Ky and Christine on the far left. Pic by Cyndi Jones