So I think I already mentioned that my backyard isn't sunny enough for a very productive vegetable garden. I've also established that I want a productive vegetable garden. So what's my game plan?
Establish a garden somewhere else, nearby, that I can walk to, that will get a lot of sunlight, that will bring in members of the community, that will give back to the community, that I can share with my children and husband, that I can be proud of, and that I can harvest produce from throughout the season.
A community garden is exactly what I need. Unfortunately, there is only one in Summerside and it's on the other side of town. Fortunately, I live very close to a park that has a lot of unused, empty space and that gets loads of sun. Did I mention that it is exactly half way between my home and my parents' home? Perfect for playing with kids and getting visits in with Nana and Grandad. Could it be more perfect? I think not.
I've been thinking about lobbying for (and putting myself forward to coordinate) this community garden for over a year, but have just really started trying to get the ball rolling now that Craig and I decided to stay here for about three more years. I'd like to have spent this time in Summerside really enjoying where we live as fully as possible, and contributing to the life of the community. So I contacted my city councillor, Cory Thomas, who is a great, super-approachable guy, with my idea and I was thrilled to hear that he was excited about it and will partner with me to promote it to City Council as well as city management. He also independently suggested to me the exact location I was hoping for! I love being on the same page as local politicians, it's a really good feeling. We had a phone chat about it last week, and then he emailed me two days later to let me know that he had already approached council with our idea and that council and management were both very receptive to the possibility.
We'll continue to push for it, and in the meantime, I'm going to do what I do best--plan. I want to have an outline of what we'll need in order to get started, an idea of how many local residents would be interested in volunteering and/or maintaining a plot, an actual plan for what the proposed garden will look like on the ground, and a list of community members and organizations that will be able to help contribute to make it the special place I am envisioning. As these things (hopefully) fall into place, I'll update here on the blog and you can follow along with me as we see it come together. It's so exciting! And I'll be able to grow more than patio tomatoes! Win.