An herb spiral was built at the Cranbrook Public Produce Garden on Saturday

An herb spiral was built at the Cranbrook Public Produce Garden on Saturday

Public Garden hosting harvest party

The Cranbrook Public Produce Garden has enjoyed a productive third season.

For the Townsman/Bulletin

The Cranbrook Public Produce Garden has enjoyed a productive third season. This Garden is as much a community building and education asset as it is an accessible and productive source for harvesting your own local, healthy food. The Cranbrook Food Action Committee (CFAC), in partnership with the City of Cranbrook, is responsible for creating it but it takes a whole community to grow, maintain, and enjoy it!

Coming up soon is the annual Harvest Party, Thursday, Oct. 2, at 5 p.m., celebrating the abundance of the season through the harvest and planting garlic for next year. The apple press (available for free community loan through Wildsight Kimberley Cranbrook) will be on-hand, making delicious juice to enjoy with barbequed local sausages and fresh garden veggies. Bring some of your garden’s abundance to share or swap. The perfect way to toast the season!

The philosophy of the Garden is rooted in community. Decisions are made by the collective through a variety of ways; group brainstorms, input through Garden blackboards, and word-of-mouth feedback. “All who enter the garden gate are considered to have an equal voice and every task, including harvesting, maintenance, seeding, weeding, watering … the list goes on and on … are considered of equal worth and contribution to the working of this special space”, says Shannon Duncan, Project Manager with CFAC.

In year one the focus was mostly on developing the infrastructure and group efforts were the focus to get things started. In the second year, CFAC encouraged people to come and contribute more through individual decisions. This included things like sowing seeds freely without group decision making, with the intention of the harvest always to be shared with anyone who came in.

Generally, people were ready and willing to work, but less comfortable taking food home. Considering harvesting along with any other task became an important message. After all, part of the intention of the Garden is connecting more people to local food and the skills required to grow your own.

By the end of the year, more and more people were comfortable coming to the Garden and harvesting on their own, without looking guiltily over their shoulder to see if someone was watching and judging.

People are generally feeling more comfortable coming in to harvest, and participation in the maintenance of the Garden is steadily growing. It’s a measure of success that so many people are enjoying the Garden and that food is being regularly harvested. People are mostly working in the Garden on their own or in small groups with the focus on bigger group efforts put toward planning and specific projects.

“There is still a need for those group efforts to get some bigger projects done,” Duncan said. “Not only are some things impossible alone, but it’s so much fun to work on things together and it’s true that work becomes much lighter with many hands.”

Last Saturday an herb spiral was created through group effort. These kinds of projects are rewarding, while having the benefit for participants of learning hands-on how to replicate in their own yard.

The Garden is expanding its growing space as there are enough people to manage it. The herb spiral is the first of projects to be undertaken around the locally constructed pergola.  Perennial vines will also be planted this fall to grow up and over the pergola, enhancing the benches recently installed and offering a refuge for gardeners or anyone passing by.

If you’ve been to the Garden, the Harvest Party is the perfect way to celebrate this inspiring and productive space. If you haven’t been to the Garden yet, it’s a great opportunity to come and check it out. Or just stop by any old time. The gate is never locked.

Just Posted

The Kimberley Refugee Resettlement Group is active again after a few years off and are working to find a home for Gloria in Kimberley. Photo taken at a KRRG fundraiser several years ago. Bulletin file.
Kimberley Refugee Resettlement Group active once more

KRRG working to find a refugee a safe place to live in Kimberley

The Kimberley Aquatic Centre is set to reopen its doors to the public on July 6, after being shut down due to the pandemic in March, 2020. The Centre will be initially operating with reduced occupancy and limited program offerings. Bulletin file.
Kimberley Aquatic Centre set to re-open July 6

New safety infrastructure, limited guests and programming allow facility to open again

Interior Health is reporting a COVID-19 exposure at Selkirk Secondary in Kimberley. Bulletin file.
COVID-19 case identified at Selkirk Secondary in Kimberley

Interior Health is conducting contact tracing

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League met for their AGM and announced a number of new initiatives, new awards and changes in their executive committee, as well as the starting date for the 2021-22 season. Paul Rodgers file.
KIJHL announces start dates for 2021-22 season

Season set to begin Oct. 1 with league still following all health guidelines

Calvin Dickson photo.
Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for East Kootenay

Conditions favourable for the development of thunderstorms, hail and heavy rain

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Grace (left), a caribou that was born in a maternal pen north of Revelstoke, is alive and well said the province. It appears she even has a calf. Maternity pens aim to increase caribou calf survival by protecting them from predation until they are older and less vulnerable. (Contributed)
For the first time in years, caribou numbers increasing near Revelstoke

North herd growing but south herd still concerning

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

Kelowna General Hospital. (File photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna General Hospital declared over

Three people tested positive for the virus — two patients and one staff — one of whom died

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

Most Read