Community gardens essential | Donation garden | Learning

Loving Spoonful, KASSI and Rideau 1000 Islands Master Gardeners are launching Gardens for Good campaign to get people producing fresh food. Meghan Balogh/The Whig-Standard/Postmedia Network

Community gardens recognized as essential source of local food

On Saturday the provincial government announced that “[community] gardens are an essential source of fresh food for some individuals and families, including those who face food insecurity.”

However, in order to reopen, we must wait for local public health guidance and agree to adhere to their public health and safety measures.  “Local medical officers of health will provide advice, recommendation and instructions that the gardens must meet in order to operate, such as physical distancing, and cleaning and disinfecting commonly used equipment and surfaces.” Stay tuned!

St. Mary’s Cathedral adopting the donation garden

St Mary’s hot meal program is expanding their free meal programming and will be growing food in the plot formerly managed by Lunch by George. They have a team of 10-12 volunteers, all experienced gardeners (including some experts) who will be working on this project.

Food forest planting Welcome Garden this spring

Continuing with our Phase I food forest plan, this spring we’ll be planting the Welcome Garden in the SW corner. We’re expecting an order from Whiffletree to be delivered after the May long weekend. If you’re not yet a member of the garden, you can get involved in the food forest by emailing

We also received a grant from Tree Mobile/Orchard People. We’ve postponed delivery of the fruit trees until Spring 2021, but one of the food forest volunteers will be taking the Orchard People fruit tree masterclass and sharing what they learn here on this blog.

Gardening for good (#Garden4Good)

Loving Spoonful, KASSI and Rideau 1000 Islands Master Gardeners are launching a Garden for Good campaign. On their new Facebook page you can make a pledge to #Garden4Good, sign up as an ambassador to support novice gardeners or share your your #MyGarden4Good story on social media.

Lots of learning opportunities

To support Gardening for Good, the master gardeners have created a vegetable gardening resource page and a list of local gardening resources on where you can get seeds, soil, plants, cover crops and soil testing.

Janette Haase, local organic gardener and author of Seed to Table, is hosting small group coaching on vegetable gardening every Monday. Register on Eventbrite.

Rideau 1000 Islands is hosting a weekly Ask a virtual master gardener. Each week master gardeners and their guests will answer questions on different topics. You can also ask questions on their Facebook page. This week Harris Ivens, a composting expert who gardens at Oak Street, is answering all composting for healthy soil questions. Watch his video to learn two great ways to compost right in your plot!

Garden is CLOSED due to COVOID-19 – help us get it reopened

Yesterday the province of Ontario announced that all community gardens are closed due to COVOID-19. We are asking that Community Gardens be declared exempt as they are essential services for food production. Here is what you can do:

  1. Please DO NOT VISIT THE GARDEN, it is closed until further notice. 
  2. Sign the Open Letter asking the government to identify Community Gardens as essential community food services which must be exempt from the recently announced closure of recreational spaces by the Province of Ontario.
  3. Email, call, write or tweet your MP, MPP, City Councillor & Mayor (contact information included below). Just Food in Ottawa has a suggested template.

The Board met last night and we are still planning for the gardening season. In fact, we will be opening up 10 new permanent plots. We will be reaching out to people on the waiting list. 

Mark Gerretson, MP

Ian Arthur, MPP: 

Wayne Hill, City Councillor for Lakeside:  (if you’re in a different district, you can find your councillors contact information here)

Bryan Patterson, Mayor