The 2012 growing season was full of successes with some great new ideas on which to build. You could say that it was the first year that we were fully back in business again as functional community garden with the task of moving our garden now complete.
2012 saw the addition of the white lattice on the fence (thanks to Marji Basso) and a wonderful arbor constructed by Juleen McElgunn and Martin Cattermole). The automated irrigation system was installed in the spring by Sam, Mal, Juleen and myself. Then, after a serious weed removal along the fence line, weed barrier was installed with a layer of road gravel over the entire garden area completed by Bob Goloski from New Start Landscaping. I also removed all of the extra bits and pieces that had been placed outside of our allotted area so that we are now entirely contained within the agreed upon space on the property.
The plant sale held in May was well attended and was a great way to introduce the new garden to the community and kick off the growing season. The water-wise workshop Paula Rodriguez de la Vega (ironically, held in the rain just outside the large doors of the Quail’s Nest Arts Center) was informative and relatively well-attended given the weather that day. People had lots of questions and the session went longer because of these discussions. This serves to show how much interest there is with gardening and agriculture within our area for which the Community Garden is poised to be an active resource.
Though the early summer was typically unstable weather-wise, we were blessed with an excellent late summer and fall for growing and the garden boxes did well. Crops this year included squashes (spaghetti and pumpkin), tomatoes, peppers, carrots, beets, cabbage, cucumbers, sunflowers and cantaloupe among others. We supplied food to the Oliver Food Bank and the weekly Farm to School Salad Bar Program at Tuc-el-Nuit and Oliver Elementary schools.
Visibility to the public continues to be a struggle as the garden’s profile is not a high as it was at our previous location. This is a situation which was foreseen and acknowledged before entering into an agreement with the Oliver Community Arts Council for the use of our current space. We must continually strive to maintain awareness of our garden within the community through articles in local media, participation in community events, and through establishing connections with other local groups and organizations.
If we can grow our community as we grow our vegetables, we’ll be in for a great year.
Respectfully submitted, April 4, 2012
President, Oliver Community Garden Society