Let the agricultural adventures begin


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Windsor Park

A number of Windsor Park residents are enjoying getting their hands dirty this spring.

At press time, almost all of the 38 raised garden beds at Winakwa Community Garden had been rented, as local individuals were embarking on their agricultural adventures at the start of this year’s growing season.

Key organizer and garden committee chair Christine Mousseau said recently that the committee has now completed its three-year phased plan for the garden’s fruit orchard, which was finished last fall and is now in the hands of Mother Nature as different trees and plants grow and mature.

File photo by Simon

Christine Mousseau, a key organizer of the Winakwa Community Garden, is pictured in this file photo. At press time, almost all of the 38 raised garden beds at the Windsor Park-based garden had been rented.

It’s hoped the orchard will help bring food security to the community — operating on a first come, first served “take what you need and leave some for the rest of the community” basis — and eventually yield fruits such as apples, cherries, haskap berries, pears, raspberries, and Saskatoon berries.

The garden is located on a piece of Louis Riel School Division-owned greenspace between Windsor Park Collegiate and Collège Béliveau next to Windsor Park Pool. In previous years, students from both high schools have been involved with the garden, and Mousseau is hoping they will both lend helping hands again this time around.

“This year, we’re focusing on the beautification of the garden,” Mousseau said, noting this will include the repainting of the garden boxes. “It’s an amazing bonus to have the high school students on board, and it’s a wonderful learning opportunity for them. This really is all about the community coming together.”

The communal aspect of the garden, Mousseau said, is at the heart of its existence. It’s also important because it serves a number of different purposes — not least acting as a convenient hub for area residents that might not have transportation to get to the grocery store.

“Yes, it brings people together, number one, which is amazing, and it’s about the community looking out for each other’s well-being. Some people, including seniors, might feel a little more isolated in an apartment block, and the garden helps them meet new people,” Mousseau said.

“Being outdoors is wonderful for your health and well-being, and there’s something about getting your hands dirty and in the soil that helps boost your mind and help you feel great.”

“Gardening is amazing, and more people should do it. I think other community centres should help facilitate this kind of thing,” she added.

Winakwa Community Centre (980 Winakwa Rd.) has been a key supporter of the garden, and a key partner in its development and sustainability since its creation several years ago.

The garden now includes a commemorative bench in honour of Dino Moran, the centre’s longtime facility manager, who died suddenly in 2019.

“Dino served the community for many years, so this is a fitting tribute to his legacy,” Mousseau said.

“In the beginning, he was a huge supporter in helping get the garden started.”

Email winakwagardens@gmail.com for more information.

Simon Fuller

Simon Fuller
Community Journalist

Simon Fuller is a reporter/photographer for the Free Press Community Review. Email him at simon.fuller@canstarnews.com or call him at 204-697-7111.

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