Growing more than fresh vegetables in Breslau garden

After a successful growing season last year, the Breslau Mennonite Church has asked the community to come and bloom along with them.

Now that the weather is supposed to get warmer, and ice is melting all over the region, the organizing committee for the Breslau Community Garden has opened up their plots to the public – and the spaces filled up fast.

“In the last couple of weeks, we started talking with the community about the garden, so we got to learn about the community, if there was an interest in gardening, and from that, there was a tremendous interest. Our plots filled up in that weekend. It has been really great to see the response and the interest,” said Alex Charette, chair of the project’s organizing committee. “It was great soil, so we decided to share with the community the great gift of the soil and what we can grow in it.”

Members of the Breslau Mennonite Church get the gardening plots ready with manure, weeding and spacing last spring. This year, the garden opened 12 plots to the public, with spaces filling up in just a couple of days.[Submitted]
Members of the Breslau Mennonite Church get the gardening plots ready with manure, weeding and spacing last spring. This year, the garden opened 12 plots to the public, with spaces filling up in just a couple of days. [Submitted]
The garden had 12 plots available for community members to sow their seeds. Now that they are full, Charette says he and the committee are going to focus on bringing community members together around a shared love of gardening.

“We are hoping to keep the community vibrant and connected with each other. By providing this place where people can converse and get to know each other, it is really valuable especially within Breslau to meet and get to know more about each other. The Breslau community now has such a diverse background of cultures and religions, so it is a space that everyone can contribute something to,” he said. “The intergenerational aspect of it is important as well. We have seniors, as well as younger families that are trying to show their kids that this is where food comes from and this is how food is grown.”

The committee is already looking at the different vegetables that will be flourishing in the garden this year, and Charette says they are basing their decisions on which plants were hearty last year.

“We do beans, peas. We have done turnip and beets – those grew really well – we also had a giant tomato harvest last year,” he said. “The vines took over a good portion of the garden.”

Charette credits the popularity of the community garden to a shift in thinking in Breslau, giving the Mennonite church a chance to share its outlook with those around them.

“The local food movement is something that is huge right now. People have a desire to grow their own food. That is something that wasn’t there in the past. It is really starting to come forward now,” he said. “Especially being that Breslau originated from Mennonite roots, that gardening idea has always been there. The idea that you can nurture something, it will grow and literally eat the fruits of your labour is powerful.”

Charette says there are already tentative plans to increase the number of plots available to the community in spring 2017, and he invites anyone who is interested to keep an eye on their website in order to stay in the loop.

“The more people we can get involved, the better. I am sure we will get to a point where we can’t expand anymore, but hopefully that won’t come for a little while and we can connect with a lot of people in the community before that,” he said.

To keep up with the community garden’s news, visit their site at www.breslaugardens.wordpress.com.

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