Community Gardens in the COVID-19 Era

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Community Garden Update:

Despite the snow flying as I write this, we know spring is on its way, and that everyone is anxious to get out into their gardens and get their hands in the dirt. Gardening can be very therapeutic and a source of fresh foods, things both needed in abundance at the moment.

We at Nourish, recognize, support and value the importance of community gardens, and want to be sure that proper safety protocols can be put in place that will ideally allow for safe and accessible use of the community gardens for a diversity of gardeners this season

However, like everything right now, things are in flux and changing rapidly, and for the moment under Provincial and Municipal Mandates ; ALL COMMUNITY GARDENS ARE CLOSED, and we ask you to PLEASE HOLD OFF on getting into your plots as a result. Idealy the snow currently falling makes that easier. 

We have been working collectively with the Ontario Community Garden Network (OCGN) to develop guidelines and protocols. A letter, along with these guidelines drafted by the group, has been sent from the OCGN to the Ministry of Health, Premier, MPP’s and MP’s. You can find a copy of this letter along with a petition that can be signed, along with the proposed regulations for community gardens on the Sustain Ontario website

If you believe that community gardens should be deemed an essential service, you are welcome to utilize this letter to send to Premier Doug Ford, and our local MPP Dave Smith. Feel free to share with others who may be interested in doing so as well.

The OCGN will be meeting again on Thursday April 16th to discuss next steps. Ideally, this work will allow for community gardens to be deemed essential services, and in combination with approved safety guidelines for the era of COVID-19, will allow them to be accessible and safely used this season.  We will update documents to the Peterborough context where needed, and share all updates as we receive them!

In the meantime, now is a great time to plan your garden or start seeds indoors. We have some resources that can help you get Start Seeds Indoors & plan your gardens! If you have any land available at home and would like some tips on getting it prepared for gardening or would like some tips on container gardenening, we are here to help!   Let us know what additional resources would be useful?

We do have some seeds that were donated to Seedy Sunday (that had to be cancelled) that we can distribute through community garden coordinators. If you are interested in growing some extras for other gardeners, let us know!

Take care, we will work through this together!
Jill Bishop (Community Food Cultivator)