By Kate Watson
Holly MacFarlane is animated when she talks about gardening.
“Food is expensive, so I really love the idea of people being able to produce their own food,” she says. “I love the fact that gardens can foster a sense of community. I love that gardening can create a positive space that people can be proud of.”
MacFarlane is one of several like-minded people on the board of the Gaston Road Community Garden. The group came together in 2015 to create a community garden in the expansive green space behind the playground in Gaston Road Park. The garden is designed to include individual plots available for a nominal fee, and true community plots marked with “food for all” signs.
Several raised garden beds have already been built on the site and are yielding food, but the group is planning a “big build” and clean-up on Saturday July 23rd.
“We’re hoping that people from in and around the Gaston Road community will come out and help out,” MacFarlane says, adding that there will be snacks and children’s activities.
“We need people to move soil and mulch. We need people to build things. We’ll have some tools, but it would be great if people brought shovels, gloves and wheelbarrows.”
The group envisions having picnic tables and benches, an urban orchard and maybe even a giant garden chess set in the future.
“The city is really great at giving opportunities to people to take ownership in their communities,” MacFarlane says, citing the area councillor Gloria McCluskey and HRM Community Developer Darren Hirtle as two people who have helped grow the garden project.
“We’re so excited that this is happening. It’s going to be an inviting and cheerful place.”
The Community Garden Social takes place on Saturday July 23rd from 10:00 to 1:00. Come out and help!