If somebody passes by the Estevan Community Garden, they will see that some fruits and vegetables are already starting to appear.
The community garden has 18 raised garden beds on its property on Lynd Crescent. Hanna Keating, who is a member of the community garden’s board, said the garden is in good shape, and they have received some precipitation in the past week, which has been welcomed by the gardeners.
But a lack of water was not an issue for the members even before last week. They used to have a watering system in place with three smaller storage tanks, but thanks to the efforts of Jim and Chantelle Harris, arrangements were made for one giant water tank, which is a new addition to the garden.
“We have hoses and it’s a matter of just turning the tap and dragging the hose down to your bed, and then we can water as much as we need to,” Keating said.
They recommend to not water in the heat of the day. Early mornings and evenings are the best time.
The water is purchased from Steam Est, who Keating said will fill the water tank on short notice.
Keating has seen members planting a little bit of everything this year, including lots of tomatoes, strawberries, potatoes, beans, peas, radishes, squash, pumpkins and herbs.
“People put everything in there, and if you name it, you’ll find it growing in somebody’s bed,” said Keating with a laugh.
Some eager green thumbs had their seeds planted before the Victoria Day long weekend, so they have a head start on the rest. Other members only planted in late May or early June.
“We’re going to have all stages of produce happening there in the garden this summer,” she said.
This year also marks a milestone for the community garden. It was formed in 2014, and so they will have a five-year anniversary open house celebration on July 13.
“We’re going to invite the public and some special guests, and we’re going to have some refreshments and some goodies, and maybe digging in the big sand pile for treasures for any children that are there,” said Keating. “There are going to be some fun kids’ activities.”
A short program will also be part of the event.
By the middle of July, the community garden expects everything to be growing, so it should be a fun time.
Keating has a hard time believing the community garden has been open for five years.
“It seems like yesterday we started,” she said. “Now we have five years under our belt, and we’re still going strong and everything is really good.”
Keating is among those who have been part of the community garden since the outset, and while some people have been there from Day 1, the garden has also gone through some changes in terms of its board, the people who use the raised garden beds and the size of the garden itself.
The community garden offers a place for people to have a garden who normally wouldn’t have the opportunity.
“There was a family there the other night, and they moved here from Regina and they’re living in an apartment. They came from a house with a big yard and a big garden, and they’re thrilled to be able to have a community garden spot.”
Those who aren’t part of the community garden would be surprised to find out how many fruits and vegetables can be grown in one of those raised beds, she said.
The community garden doesn’t use any chemicals, so members get to enjoy their own healthy, freshly-grown vegetables.
“You can’t go wrong, and you’re growing it yourself, so it’s not costing you anything,” said Keating.