Spring of 2017 is just over the horizon and the Millbrook Community gardeners are beginning to feel that characteristic anticipation. After eight years, the present members are hoping to be joined by a new group of enthusiastic, visionary volunteers to carry on and perhaps introduce new directions and ideas.
The Millbrook Community Garden was created in 2009 on beautiful land of the Old Millbrook School as:
1) a source of fresh, organic vegetables for Millbrook and District Food Share
2) an educational example of organic gardening
3) an opportunity to provide garden plots to citizens of Millbrook and the township
4) a place of beauty in which to wander, examine different gardens, and
5) just a place to sit and enjoy the beauty of the surrounding green space.
The actual construction of the garden was shared by many. The township staff removed sod, people donated their time to work, farmers donated manure and tractor time, cedar rails were donated for fencing, handmade wooden composter bins appeared and, little by little, a beautiful garden grew beside the Old Millbrook School.
The design of the garden was established at the outset – the centre area a perennial flower bed, the northwestern section for the local Food Share and all the remaining area for private garden plots. A raised wooden bed was constructed, with more to come if needed. Finally, two benches and various stumps for sitting were added.
The Community Garden Harvest Potluck, held next to the garden with music by Benj Rowland, has become an annual garden event with the public invited. A few years ago, an orchard was added on the west side of the garden in an area turned into a wild meadow, and a labyrinth was created on the eastern area next the garden. Not far away, a big mature black walnut tree has become the StoryTree for local children during the Millbrook Farmers’ Market.
In 2012, the Millbrook Community Garden was one of the recipients of the provincial June Callwood Awards for outstanding achievement in voluntarism. That same year, it was also recognized by the County of Peterborough as Community Volunteer of the Year. The garden was also the subject of a short video by Nourish Peterborough that can be viewed at www.nourishproject.ca/place-sit.
So to any and all of you passionate gardeners or wannabe gardeners who can spare a bit of time and have an interest in this evolving community garden – please call Joanne Rowland at (705) 932-3214 and come to our next meeting. The spring garden meeting will be upstairs at the Millbrook Arena on Monday, April 10th at 7:00pm. Check out the Community Garden posters and postcards about town. We meet once a week for an hour or two and that is the only commitment – thanks.
By Grace Glass