Community garden to collect rainwater and plans greenhouse
After acquiring two 1,250-gallon rainwater tanks last year, the Olds Community Garden Guild plans on starting to collect rainwater this summer.
A local roofing company has offered to donate its time and connect the Aquatic Centre roof to the tanks.
“We are trying to be a bit more sustainable and not use necessarily the town water anymore,” said Barb Hazenveld, member of the Olds Community Garden Guild.
“We are going to have lots and lots of water. That’s very exciting.”
The guild has also applied for a grant to build a greenhouse this summer. The greenhouse would enable participants to propagate their material in the spring, and to grow tomatoes and cucumbers.
“We might eventually build some raised beds inside,” said Hazenveld.
The guild wants to attract more senior residents to get involved in the garden and has already obtained a few grants to do so.
“A lot of these people are used to having their own vegetable garden or any sort of garden. They move into apartments and they don’t have it anymore,” said Hazenveld.
“Quite a few of them are still very able-bodied. We’d like to be able to provide a space for them to continue to garden.”
Those projects are among many that the guild has been doing in the past year. The Olds community garden has grown by leaps and bounds since its foundation in 2009. Born of the idea that the community lacked a completely organic garden, the guild started fundraising in 2009, before starting the garden on Town of Olds land, right next to the Aquatic Centre.
“It’s so unnecessary to use chemical products. You just have to dig out the weeds by hand,” said Hazenveld.
“It’s better for the environment, it’s better for your food, and it’s better for everybody.”
This year, 20 people have signed to rent plots from the guild, including one community group, which is the Olds High School Eco Club. A lot of the participants donate part of their produce to the Mountain View Food Bank during the season.
The guild has planted an orchard, a strawberry patch, and saskatoon hedges.
“It’s pretty good. It’s a long-term permanent plan,” said Hazenveld.
“We want the garden to be something ongoing that will provide a lot of food for the people who use it.”