I have just learned about an exciting community initiative happening in Brampton and are thinking about trying it out here in Ottawa.
This is a great way to get your own fresh produce this summer and help your neighbours at the same time.
The Brampton Backyard Program is the brainchild of Brampton City Councillor Doug Whillens. The program began as a recognition of the fact that the social distancing practices related to Covid-19 may have a negative impact on community gardens and food banks. Also, the project is a proactive environmental initiative that helps provide some healthy outdoor activity for people while following social distancing guidelines.
Here’s how it works:
Everyone in Brampton is invited to participate in the Backyard Garden Program. Participants are provided with soil, seeds and/or vegetable plants. The program includes a tutorial on how to make a backyard garden and a website where people can go for instructions and help. Although it is not mandatory, gardeners are encouraged to give some of their produce to their local food bank. So it’s a wonderful way to get outside, play in the earth, learn some new skills and give back to those less fortunate in your community, while we all navigate this changing reality.
I would be interested in making this happen in Ottawa, and I’d love to have your feedback and involvement. I’ll keep you posted.
Both the City and Ottawa Public Health support allowing community gardens during the pandemic and have written to the Premier of Ontario for permission to open them as soon as possible.
The following is a request from Guy Cléroux, who is a resident volunteer who manages the Regina Towers community garden.
“Hi my name is Guy Clairoux. I am a resident and active lead gardener at Regina Towers in Bay Ward. It is an OCH property and our residents participate a tenant circle. We meet once a month with OCH staff to vote on topics for upcoming events and social group gatherings. Unfortunately our meetings have been put on hold due to the pandemic . The reason I am writing you, Councillor Kavanagh, is so you know that the gardens are something we really look forward to every year. If it’s at all possible , while respecting physical distancing, please help us get permission to use our gardens this summer. We are a group of residents that have lived here for years and have worked with each other to share our love for gardens. We look forward every year to having a Fall Harvest celebration . This year would mark our 7th year, fingers crossed.”Guy Cléroux