Years ago, while out walking, Les Barber noticed the empty lot beside the church. He approached Rev. Jim Bragan with his idea. He approved.
Ground was first broken in the summer of 2011 when 50 pounds of potatoes were planted. The following year a large area was plowed and 36 raised garden beds were built.
Stephen Sollows, chair of the ways and means team at the church, says the garden is now crammed from one side to the other with raised beds for community residents.
“The garden now has 162 plots, all of which are used, and there is often a waiting list for those who would like a plot,” he said. Forty-to-50 people garden on the property (some have more than one plot).
Barber jokingly adds that they are now so cramped for room they are letting the squash vines grow out onto the street.
He’s been planting plum trees and cherries along the borders, but the deer have been a problem.
“They like plums. I didn’t realize that. Peach, apricot and nectarine I can put out and they don’t like them.”
The garden now has an automatic watering system set up in barrels instead of hoses.
All organic waste from both garden and church is recycled back into the garden through the composting program.
Four years ago a gazebo was donated for the garden, but management would like to see the gas-powered equipment and tools separated from the other supplies.
“It was felt that it would be worth putting the word out in the community to see if any one might have a small 10’ x 12’ building that could be moved to the site,” said Sollows.
If you have a shed to donate or know of one that’s available, call Beacon United Church at 902-742-4320.
The office is open weekdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
2013 article in The Vanguard about the community garden.