Prince Albert citizens discussing a community garden

Jodi Schellenberg
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Since many producers use harsh chemicals on their produce, some people in Prince Albert would like to see a different way to get produce.

At a Prince Albert Food Coalition meeting held earlier this week a presentation was made by member Merle Lacert about creating community garden in the city.

“What we are trying to do is support and establish a community garden in Prince Albert,” Lacert said. “This is really important because there isn’t any type of community garden that currently exists within the city of Prince Albert.”

A community garden is a large garden run by a group of individuals who would like to have fresh produce but are unable to have their own garden, often due to living in an apartment or not having a large enough back yard.

Coun. Charlene Miller said she is interested in the city having a community garden.

“I think that is the way we need to go,” she said. “All the food that comes in is actually full of chemicals and after you wash them they are still iffy. The more you can grow yourself, I think would better for everything and everyone.”

Not only would people be able to grow their own produce, they would also meet other like-minded people.

“It is getting together with the whole community, picking weeds and doing whatever,” Miller said. “Just the getting together and doing horticultural stuff with others.”

The Food Coalition is hosting a community garden informational meeting on May 1 at the library, Lacert said.

“What we really encourage is anybody who may have an interest in participating or volunteering to support a community garden to come out to the meeting,” Lacert said. “What the coalition is looking to do is support groups to come forward and help manage. The success of this program is entirely dependent on people coming forward with an interest and participating.”

Although the Food Coalition wants to get the ball rolling, they believe the success of a community garden would be up to volunteers.

“What we would like to do is bring in volunteers and turn it over to them so they can determine their own kind of model of how to plant the gardens and share the produce,” Lacert said. “One hundred per cent of the produce will be theirs, they will have ownership of the gardens.”

“Some people may have a love of gardening and they can volunteer to help assist,” Lacert he added. “If they don’t want the produce, there will definitely be venues to turn it over. There is no cost to participate.”

Miller would like to see more people attend the meeting to learn about the project.

“I think they should come out and support it,” Miller said. “If they would like to start a community garden in their community, they (could).”

Lacert will be meeting with Miller to discuss some of the details. Before the city can back it, the idea will have to pass through council, but Miller believes her fellow councillors would support it.

If the project is successful, Lacert said they would have future meetings for the community garden volunteers surrounding a variety of topics, such as tips and tricks for planting, and guest speakers, such as the operators of Jessy’s Garden.

Organizations: Prince Albert Food Coalition

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