Greetings, (imminent) gardeners,
Wow – was that snow last weekend?
Welcome to the Nutana Community Gardens (NCG) for the 2015 growing season. For those who have gardened with us in the past, welcome back. For the many of you who stand to garden with us for the first time, welcome to a tradition of community building through community gardening.
I’d like to share with you a bit of the history of Nutana Community gardening. Our plots began with a small-scale conversion of a vacant lot. Through an agreement with Mrs. Remai’s company, PR Developments, and a whole bunch of committed gardeners, that garden was expanded to the current bounds of Garden#2, behind the Roastery. Water for this garden was initially secured from the old Pilates Centre, and then from Bridgewater Condominiums. Last year saw the inauguration of Garden#1 (see photo), located beside Nutana Collegiate, with three-year agreement for land and water access provided by the City of Saskatoon.
The garden behind the Roastery (Garden#2) has a more complicated existence, surviving through the kindliness of our partners, PR Developments and Bridgewater Condominiums. Our access to this site is never guaranteed: although we have gardened in the Garden#2 site for thirteen years, NCG is only able to secure the use of this valuable piece of real estate only on a year-by-year basis through the landowner. This is why we run the registration for this garden site in person, and not until May – and why we encourage prospective long-term gardeners to go for a plot in Garden#1.
Community gardening is about building community. We encourage you to be thoughtful of your neighbours – two frequent complaints have been plots being shaded and planting on borderlines. Some suggestions: plant your rows north-south to maximize sunlight for you and your neighbours; place trellises (north-south, minimal height) in middle of your own plot; when planting, allow enough space for the mature plant. If you find that all of your careful planting goes awry and you encroach upon the space of your neighbours, consider sharing produce as well as conversation. Have fun, enjoy the garden – continue learning and sharing.
As you plan out your plot, remember consideration to others. But also remember that water for the sites, provided by outside partners has not yet been turned on. Hold off from planting water-sensitive plants (or be prepared to haul your own water) until you receive the announcement that the taps have been turned on.
Looking forward to seeing you in the next few weeks,