Durham Master Gardeners

inspiring home gardeners


Oshawa City Hall Giving Gardens

city-hall-gardens
Members of Durham Master Gardeners and Oshawa Garden Club join Deputy Mayor Bob Chapman (right) in the gardens on the north side of City Hall.

Co-leads: Anne Van de Velde and Helen Vander Byl

Details: The Durham Master Gardeners, in partnership with The Oshawa Garden Club and the City of Oshawa, planted, cared for and harvested nine garden beds located at Oshawa City Hall. A true “Covid Project”, these beds were repurposed from flower beds to vegetable gardens with all of the produce donated to ‘Feed the Need Durham’, an organization that services 65 food banks in the Durham Region. Durham MGs tended four of the garden beds and delivered a total of 372 pounds of fresh produce (kale, beets, parsnips, several varieties of squash, beans, spinach, onions, carrots, cabbage and peas) to ‘Feed the Need’ to support families experiencing food insecurity. Some of the team’s favourite experiences were painting rocks with their children and neighbourhood kids to use as plant markers; engaging with passersby on the best ways to plant and harvest veggies; learning from each other; receiving 1,000 shares on Facebook; making the front page of the local newspaper; and being featured on the CTV Toronto 6 pm news as “The Good News Story of the Day” and seeing our veggies across the nation on the CTV National news.

On October 5th we did a final cleanup of the beds and held a small project end celebration at which City of Oshawa officials presented us with certificates of appreciation recognizing our hard work and dedication to the project. This project allowed us to connect to our community in a very special way and helped fill a significant need, which was very rewarding. Our biggest challenge meant replanting what wildlife either dug up or helped themselves to: in particular the squirrels and chipmunks fancied squash and bean plants! We are hopeful that we will be invited to participate in this fantastic endeavour again next year.

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