City owned vacant lots that have, over the last seven years, been converted into community gardens and small grassed areas:
- “Sheba’s Paradise” – 483-485 Young St.
- “Ashley Hudson Memorial Garden” – 607-611 Langside St.
- 559 Langside St.
- “The International Garden” – 446 Langside St
- “The Kids Garden” – 435-437 Furby
- 547 Furby St.
- “Sunshine Gardens” – 635-637 Maryland St.
- 2 gardens on McGee St. are managed through St. Matthews Maryland community ministry.
The SNA Community Gardens are in hibernation right now but there are still ways that you can get involved!
Our WISH LIST includes:
- Spades and other gardening tools like wheel barrows, watering cans, digging forks etc.
- Soil testing for contaminants (must be performed by certified lab)
- Donations of Perennial plants. Examples: strawberries, rhubarb, Saskatoon bushes, raspberries, flowers.
- Sources of water (we pay an honorarium if you fill our rain water barrels in the dry times)
- Tool maintenance fund or skills
- Donations of your skills and time.
We are specifically looking for gardeners with experience to work with families or individuals who may want to garden but don’t know how or don’t feel comfortable enough to do it on their own. Our soils and climate make it hard for some people to know what they can plant, how and when. The mentorship garden program looks to help people who want to eat healthy food or get out and be active, get paired up with a gardener who wants to share their skills. The SNA provides access to tools, some equipment and supplies through our Tool Library. During the summer months we hire a team of young people who can help with the heavy lifting and the labour of gardening.
You can also make a cash donation to an SNA community garden of your choice or the Greening efforts in Spence by clicking on the box on the top right of your screen that says “Donate Now”. For a map of the SNA Community gardens and public compost bins please check out the Spence Green Map at http://mbeconetwork.org/spence_neighbourhood_map/
Winter is a good time to dream big for next year, spruce up signage for the gardens, read up on gardening and order seeds. If you live in the Spence Neighbourhood area (from Balmoral-Agnes, and from Portage Ave to Notre Dame Ave.) and want to garden during the 2009 season the sooner the better to call, email, or come down and meet the SNA staff and community.
Each garden usually has a “Lead”-a committed gardener who keeps a map of the garden’s plots and participants and maintains a good presence on site. The more time that people spend in the gardens the less vandalism is experienced, the more inviting it is to children and moms and the better maintained the space becomes. We encourage you to come and visit.
Try out the public compost bins in each community garden too and do your part to save the earth! Composting reduces landfill waste and turns kitchen scraps (*NO oil, dairy, bread or meat please-just veggie scraps, tea and coffee grounds) into excellent fertilizer for the gardens.
Most of these mid-block community gardens include open green space and areas for kids to play and we encourage people to use these spaces for games, picnics, and hanging out in. We hire a community resident to mow the grass in these community garden and green space lots and to collect garbage but do your part and tidy up or let us know about any problems.
The gardens and green spaces are encouraged to be chemical free (no pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers-for the safety of ourselves, our children, animals and the earth) and we promote the use of the public access Community Compost bins in each garden for this rich source of fertilizer to be used on site instead of chemicals.
If you want to bring your kitchen scraps like coffee grounds, tea bags, vegetable and fruit peelings to compost in the community compost bins please deposit in the bins and then cover with the leaves provided. Please no oil, bread, or meat products as these can attract pests.
If you have any questions about composting please call our Community Composting Coordinator Kate Dykman at 783-2834 or email email@example.com. She is running a compost pilot project picking up the compostable kitchen scraps and coffee grounds from local businesses and then maintaining the compost bins in the gardens.