Something special is happening at Jubilee Mennonite Church.
North Kildonan neighbours are coming together at the community garden located at 365 Edelweiss Cres. According to Pastor Dan Nighswander, the idea "started with the sense that there was a large space at the church and they needed to do something with it".
Now in its fifth growing season, the garden has 30 plots and is run by the church, with help from surrounding homes.
The response from the community has been largely positive. The church has received a fair bit of interest in this project. The gardeners at Jubilee Mennonite Church are thrilled the church has provided an urban space for gardening and feel the community garden provides many positive opportunities.
The most obvious advantage is the production of fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs. The food you grow is the freshest, most healthiest food you can eat. It is incomparably more delicious to eat fresh. There is nothing better than crisp, fresh carrots or peas picked straight from the garden.
The community garden is ideal for those who live in apartments or small lots and do not have sufficient space for their own garden. Anyone can learn to garden. North Kildonan’s community garden provides an occasion to strike up a conversation with a pro and get some advice. Most will love to share their gardening savvy.
Gardening is economical. A package of seeds is inexpensive and produces large quantities. Excess produce can be canned or frozen for the winter months to avoid purchasing in the costly off-season. Check out www.bernardin.ca which offers a wealth of recipe ideas and canning advice.
Everyone can enjoy gardening, regardless of age. Kids in the neighbourhood love to help and learn a thing or two about watering, weeding and spacing of plants. Watching plants grow will teach kids to care for plants and start to develop a positive work ethic. Plus, what kid doesn’t like to get dirty and dig for earthworms?
One of the most positive benefits of Jubilee Mennonite Church’s community garden is that neighbours come together. It is a great opportunity for people to meet and get to know their neighbors. Everyone works toward a common goal, and forms lasting, long-term relationships in the process. Plus, if you cannot get your plot weeded, one of your fellow gardeners would be more than willing to give you a hand.
Gardening can benefit your physical and mental health. There is something about putting your hands in the dirt and growing something beautiful that feels elemental. Gardening provides a way to escape from our busy lives, slow down and connect with nature. Studies have proven that fresh air and sunshine improve our mental health and ease stress. Gardening can even keep you limber and improve your mood.
If you are interested in gardening with Jubilee Mennonite Church’s community garden, contact their ‘Come Grow With Us’ program by phoning (204) 668-9933 or click www.jubileemennonitechurch.ca/programs
Charlene Kroll is a community correspondent for North Kildonan. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.