Community gardening efforts commendable
A few weeks after arriving in Merritt back in 2010, I participated in a local “Harvest Feast.”
With other members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I used my hands to pick corn and dig up potatoes, carrots, onions and other vegetables. Immediately after that, we proceeded to the kitchen where we washed the vegetables, cooked them and enjoyed them. It couldn’t have been much longer than an hour from the time they were in the ground to the time they were in my stomach.
This was a novel experience for me, but it was so much fun, and I imagine the food tastes even better when you plant the crops yourself and tend to them before harvesting and cooking them.
Though the April showers seem to be confused and have arrived with the May flowers, many people are turning their thoughts to gardening. And listening to the talk, it makes me wish I had a little garden of my own. (For now I’ll have to be content with my two little potted plants that sit on my window sill.)
As someone who has very little experience gardening and very limited knowledge, I’ve been impressed by the community support that is available.
For one thing, this Saturday the Baillie House is hosting a Spring Garden Festival in conjunction with Communities in Bloom and the Lilac Conspiracy. From what I understand, there will be all sorts of new ideas for the green thumbs as well as the beginners.
The event will even include a square-foot gardening demonstration to show people that with a little creativity, it is still possible to enjoy homegrown fruits and vegetables, even if there is very little space to work with.
Besides the garden festival, there are several community garden initiatives. Plans for a Merritt community garden are still in the works, and members of the Lower Nicola Indian Band have already been preparing their new community garden for planting at the end of May.
There is something really attractive about getting back to the basics — growing your own food and preserving it. It’s satisfying to enjoy the fruits of your labours and it feels good knowing from where your food comes. I applaud the efforts of those involved in the local programs.
For those not interested in doing the work, you can still enjoy local food by shopping at the Nicola Valley Farmers’ Market.