Community Garden (Bowmanville Avenue)
Vegetable Gardens (Gateway Garden/Ravenswood Avenue at Balmoral)
Westgate Garden (Berwyn Avenue at Western Avenue)
The 4C’s for Cultivating Community in Bowmanville by Diana Leifer
Over the past several years, many neighborhood members have participated in the BCO gardens, discovering and confirming the pleasure and joy of planting, maintaining, harvesting, and sharing flowers, shrubs, trees, fruits, flowers, and vegetables. While I have savored every cucumber, bean, and beet from my shared vegetable plot on Ravenswood, I have come to realize that for me, the most prized produce has been the many wonderful friends I have acquired while working alongside neighbors, new and old. Just being out in the gardens on a summer’s day has brought me in contact with so many lovely people – some younger, some older -whom I’d probably have never otherwise met. Whether a new or long term member of the neighborhood, community may be the most important crop you cultivate in the BCO gardens.
Along with other gardeners, I have been thinking about ways in which to increase our harvest – other activities that can bring us together in new ways as a community and can promote even greater yield from our gardens. I have come up with the idea of the 4 C’s, a series of demonstrations and workshops on the following topics, all of which are garden related:
1) Cooking Demonstrations of techniques and recipes showcasing the various vegetables grown in our gardens. With a formal background in the culinary arts and long experience in cooking instruction, I would be more than happy to get this ball rolling. You, too, may have ideas to share with neighbors and we’d welcome your participation.
2) Canning Preserve the bounty of your garden. Canning is easy, fun, economical, and requires only a slight investment in supplies and equipment. What a pleasure to open up a jar of summer in the depths of winter. Make your own gifts and avoid the holiday rush. Learn to make jams, pickles, relishes, etc.
3) Composting Let’s feed our gardens so that they will better feed us, and at the same time, minimize waste, reduce landfills and carbon emissions. Learn how to compost your vegetable scraps, newspapers, dryer lint, lawn clippings, etc. Create “black gold. You and your garden will be glad you did!
4) Cold frames Learn how to use a cold frame to extend the garden season. Whether you build it yourself or purchase one, find out how to plant earlier and later. You handy neighbors out there, perhaps you can help us conduct a cold frame construction workshop.
As you can see, the opportunities for collaboration and cooperation are many, and your investment of time and energy will pay you back in the connections you make with your neighbors. Please think of how you can contribute to cultivating community in Bowmanville.