Oliver Community Garden – President’s Report 2012 AGM
2011 was a very different year in the young life of the Oliver Community Garden Society. In September 2010 at our last AGM we were faced with the impending move of our garden site from the location on Main Street. At that time, there was great uncertainty about the future of the community garden. We did not have a place to move to, or a place to store our garden supplies and shed, and missing the entire 2011 growing season was a real possibility. The only thing that we knew for sure was that we would have to be leaving our location on Main Street. The challenge of finding a new space and getting it ready would occupy most of our time and energy throughout the winter and well into the 2011 growing season.
Our gardening supplies were moved from the Main Street location in early November to various locations, including the Town of Oliver’s Public Works Yard and in our family’s garage and gardening room. Our thanks go out to Oliver/Osoyoos Search and Rescue who carefully emptied, disassembled, and stacked the garden boxes and supplies so that they could be loaded and hauled away. A big thank-you also goes out to the Town of Oliver and the Public Works Department for loading, moving and storing the garden boxes, irrigation hoses, barrels, and most impressively our tool shed. They fit the pickup and delivery of these items into their busy schedule and for that, we are extremely thankful.
In late fall we received two offers for potential sites for the garden, looked into both of them, and chose the site here at the Quail’s Nest based on its easy access, flat terrain and relatively quiet location among other factors. In the following winter, our relationship with the Oliver Community Arts Council was finalized in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding which gave us a small but cosy portion of land on their site here at the Quail’s Nest Arts Centre. Our shed, garden boxes, and tools were deposited there and were reassembled on a cold day in the spring of 2011. We began to look like a community garden once again.
The growing season for 2011 was challenging to be sure. The cold and wet weather did not inspire anyone to spent time outside and was entirely atypical of our usually lovely south Okanagan climate. Cold and wet were the two most common words until the middle of July. Ironically, had the weather been hot and dry there would have potentially been more problems since access to water was limited until the middle of the summer.
By season’s end, the mainline of the automated irrigation system was finished and the layout of the garden site was essentially completed. There are a number of projects to finish this year, including completing the irrigation zones, setting up a pergola and beautifying our social space under the large tree in the centre near the shed.
Thanks to the Oliver Community Arts Council, who extended a warm welcome to host our gardens on their lot.
Thanks to Linda and Laura Venables for the donation of a truckload of sand and a load of fill to level off the garden site.
Thanks to Bob Goloski from New Start Landscaping for levelling the Main Street location after the move and for levelling and preparing the new garden site with his bobcat.
Thanks also go to the members of the executive, who came out to help set up the new garden site.
Now that we can concentrate on gardening again, I am very much looking forward to what we can offer the community. Along with regular workshops and events, it is our goal to complete the irrigation system so that the whole garden will have automated irrigation. We are also planning to start the season off with a large event on May 26th, with more information about that coming later tonight.
As with any approaching season, we cannot predict the circumstances of our gardens any more than we can predict the weather. But with some of the major issues now out of the way and a supportive relationship with the OCAC, we can now focus on building the “community” portion of our community garden, rather than on building the garden itself.
Respectfully submitted, March 12, 2012
President, Oliver Community Garden Society