If any of your resolutions for 2018 include spending time outside, meeting new people, learning new skills, or growing your own food – you may want to look into community gardening. Participating in a community garden is one of the most beautiful things you can do for yourself. Community gardening is a great way to exercise, spend time outdoors, relieve stress and it also connects you with people of all ages, skill levels, and backgrounds. Hamilton has various designated community gardening areas across the city and you are able to request a new one if there isn’t one in your area.
It may seem odd to think about gardening while we’re encased in ice and snow in January but this is precisely the time to start planning. You will want to give yourself enough time to gather seeds and other supplies and to carefully plan out what you intend to plant. There are a few things to consider before you get started with Hamilton’s community gardens:
- Space is a premium. Most gardens fill up quickly and any free spots are filled from a waiting list. You want to apply as soon as possible and wait to hear back.
- Another reason you want to apply early is that most (if not all) of the community gardens in Hamilton are lead by volunteers who may not always be available to reply to you immediately.
- Some gardens have gates and locks that protect the plots (like at Victoria Park) while other gardens are more open-concept (Churchill Park)
- A lot of the community gardens give preference to members who live in the neighbourhood.
- Some of the gardens provide basic garden tools.
- Some of the gardens are for personal use and some of the gardens are focused on food donation.
- Consider our growing season (May 24 weekend – Canadian Thanksgiving) and your personal fruit and vegetable preferences when planning your garden.
There are many community gardens in Hamilton and you can find a list of all of them including details and contact information on the Hamilton Community Garden Network.
If you have access to a backyard or a patio/balcony with space you are ahead of the curve and can start planning your spring garden immediately. It is amazing what you can grow in small spaces – here are a few links to get you inspired.
Hamilton’s annual Seedy Saturday event is coming up in February and it is a fantastic way of meeting fellow gardeners and purchasing high-quality seeds and other gardening goods. The goal of this event is to host the community seed exchange, promote sustainable and local products and practices and share knowledge through workshops and presentations.
Seedy Saturday is an excellent event for anyone and everyone interested in gardening, edible gardening, pollinator gardens, sustainability, heirloom and organic seed supplies and more. We will share other local seedling/seed sales in Hamilton as they are announced.
Seedy Saturday 2018
Saturday, February 3rd, 2018
St. Marguerite d’Youville School
20 Bonaparte Way, Hamilton – L9B 2E3
10am – 3pm