Local food security

Produce garden, workshops just some of the Wildsight-sponsored food security initiatives

Food security is becoming more and more of a mainstream concept says Jessica Windle of Wildsight, who visited Kimberley City Council last week to talk about local food sustainability and the Kimberley Open Garden.

Council had heard some concerns from Rotary Drive residents about the look of the garden earlier in the year, but Windle assured them those issues had been resolved.

The garden, located just behind the Aquatic Centre, is a public produce garden, meaning that rather than renting a plot and growing your own vegetables, a group works as a whole and shares the results.

The garden broke ground in May and Windle told Council that there had been about five work bees since then, drawing some 50 people and students from two different schools.

The idea is to incorporate best practices, such as no-dig potato beds, mulch to control weeds, rainwater collection and more.

A fence, which Windle says they are just waiting on city staff to complete, will help keep deer out, although she says another pest —ground squirrels — have become a bit of a problem.

Coun. Kent Goodwin asked if Wildsight had had any more discussion about pushing for community supported agriculture and connecting people with local farmers.

“We decided no backyard chickens in Kimberley,” Goodwin said. “But if you could connect people who want farm fresh eggs with those that produce them…”

Windle said that the Kimberley Farmers’ Market was the first step in that process — introducing people to the abundance of local produce available.

Wildsight is also hosting workshops on preserving seasonal food beginning in August.