Peace and Environment Resource Centre

Your community voice for peace and sustainability

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 Living Lightly

  EnviroCentre Edition - Spring 2016

Scroll down for highlights!
 
Catherine Mageau-Walker (SustainLowertown Coordinator), Annie Mercier (LCRC Community Developper), Mathieu Fleury and Angela Palma Herriot at a Good Food Market in Lowertown Credit: Photo courtesy of SustainLowertown

Catherine Mageau-Walker (SustainLowertown Coordinator), Annie Mercier (LCRC Community Developper), Mathieu Fleury and Angela Palma Herriot at a Good Food Market in Lowertown.
Photo courtesy of SustainLowertown
 

Workshop facilitator

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The PERC wishes to thank Rob Danforth of Canadian Organic Growers for the excellent facilitation he provided for our organic container gardening workshop on the afternoon of Saturday, March 2nd, 2013.

Rob has an impressive background in growing organically and teaching others how to do the same:

 

  • Past Workshops:  Canadian Organic Growers (COG), Senior Organic Gardeners (SOG), & Community Garden Network (CGN)

He is an experienced vegetable/herb gardener:  

  • Backyard plots
  • Gloucester Allotment Gardens
  • Jardins Arrowsmith Thymeless Community Gardens
  • Gloucester Emergency Food Cupboard  garden
  • Personal container gardens (indoors & outdoors)
  • SOG container gardens
  • Workshop Instructor in vegetable/herb gardening for COG OSO (containers, raised beds, & in-ground gardens)
  • Executive member of Jardins Arrowsmith Thyme-less Gardens Association (JATGA)
  • Long time Volunteer with the Gloucester Emergency Food Cupboard (GEFC)
  • Contributor of fresh vegetables to the GEFC and to the Cumberland food cupboard
  • Past manager of the GEFC garden and the JATGA demonstration garden
  • Past Coordinator of high school student volunteers for JATGA Gardens.
  • Retired High School Teacher (still registered as an Ontario Certified Teacher)

 

Thank you Rob for teaching us how to grow healthy, sustainable food in small spaces! 

In this issue..

Growing Food and Community in Lowertown East

Catherine Mageau-Walker, Program Coordinator, Sustain Lowertown

Sustain Your Community Logo

Any gardener or farmer can tell you that there is a healing and nourishing quality in growing your own food – an intimate connection that sprouts between you and the earth, a connection that only deepens, when you plant those seeds with others. A pride and thrill flourishes in working together to cultivate and watch something go from seed to something that appears on your plate. And that connection continues to grow when you can sit down together to share in that bounty.

Lowertown_raisedbeds

Building raised beds for the Beausoleil Community Garden. Photo courtesy of SustainLowertown

From a seed, a community can grow.

And that growth is happening in the community of Lowertown with three separate gardening projects underway:

  1. The Beausoleil Community Garden, funded by EnviroCentre’s Sustain Your Community project with support from Ottawa Community Housing (OCH), Lowertown Community Resource Centre (LCRC) and volunteers from the community, is located in the greenspace behind 25 OCH townhomes. With a goal of shared learning and access to healthy fresh food, five raised beds were created last fall so that residents would be able to plant, tend and harvest food together.

Lowertown_Beausoleil garden
Beausoleil Community Garden. Photo courtesy of SustainLowertown

  1. The Angel Square Community Garden grew out of an increased demand within the community for more raised beds after the Lowertown Community Garden had reached capacity. Built in the Fall of 2014 through the support of Just Food Community Garden Fund, LCRC and community volunteers, the garden is now self-sustaining with an active volunteer Steering Committee and is a part of the Community Garden Network of Ottawa, an information and resource-sharing network that supports the sustainable development of community gardens within the City. With 12 raised beds for growing vegetables, berries and edible flowers, the garden is an accessible, multicultural community garden that the residents of Lowertown East can enjoy.

Lowertown_Angel Square Garden
Angel Square Community Garden. Photo courtesy of SustainLowertown

  1. The Container Gardening Project, originally funded through the Ontario Trillium Foundation, was started with a goal of providing residents with the tools, skills and support to grow their own fresh produce regardless of their income, living space or agricultural knowledge. Each season starts with a workshop where participants assemble their buckets, fill them and chose their seedlings. Depending on their living space they can take their containers home to grow on balconies or porches, or they can leave them around the Lowertown Community Resource Centre’s community garden plots, where the project is run. Last year 90 buckets were distributed to families and individuals in the community.

All of these projects came from a seed – an idea of bringing not only food to a community but to build it at the same time. The Angel Square Garden and the Container Gardening Project, for example, are now managed by their own independent community-run steering committees. They are planning a joint seed swapping activity this spring and collaborating at work bees and when you walk by Angel Square, there are people conversing or sitting on the bench.

Lowertown_raisedbeds_2
Building raised beds for the Beausoleil Community Garden. Photo courtesy of SustainLowertown

As one volunteer-action committee member states, “Community Gardens are important because they bring together all types of people. Growers, planers, kids, recent immigrants, seniors etc… Angel Square has become a bit of a meeting place and the kind of open, functional and beautiful place where neighbors cross paths, chit-chat and help one another”.

From a seed, a community continues to grow….

Lowertown_Steve Nansekivell his garden
Steve Nansekivell putting his garden to rest after a productive season (Angel Square Garden). Photo courtesy of SustainLowertown

Although there has been a lot of work done on each of these three projects with many successes along the way, there is still a lot of work to be done – not just on these projects, but future ones, such as the search for a suitable space for another community garden in Lowertown West.

To learn more, to get involved or to be connected to the right person for the right project, please contact sustainlower@envirocentre.ca.


PEN Spring 2016 Simple

Want more PEN?

Look for the full print edition at community centres and select retailers throughout the Ottawa area.

The PERC site features highlights from the current edition. PDF versions of the full PEN will be available in the archives after the current edition is off the stands.

 

The PERC thanks the above organizations for their support.

Thank you to Sustainable Eastern Ontario, the Community Foundation of Ottawa, and the Ontario Trillium Foundation for sponsoring the Winter 2015-2016 edition of the PEN.

 

Viewpoints expressed should not be taken to represent the opinions of the Ottawa Peace and Environment Resource Centre, the Peace and Environment News, or our supporters. The PEN does not recommend, approve or endorse any of the advertisers, products or services printed in the PEN or referred to on the PERC website. Health-related information printed in the PEN or online is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified and licensed health care provider. The PERC and PEN are not responsible for the content on any external website links.