2016 proved to be a great summer for our Blueberry Fields Community Garden. The garden in support of Home Suite Hope yielded far more fresh fruit and vegetables than we expected.
The garden was a huge success thanks to the tireless work of Ken and his team of volunteers. A special thanks to Home Suite Hope for coordinating Genworth HP and FCT, some of their corporate sponsors, who sent over 30 volunteers.
We would like to thank the owners of Upper Oakville Shopping Centre who not only donated the land for Blueberry Fields but also funded the entire project and RAVEN5 who created our website and donated all the creative and social media content for the marketing of the project.
Here are some of the highlights, observations and areas to improve upon from Blueberry Fields for future years. The family of rabbits loved the abundance of kale and as a result stayed away from most of the other produce. We have already started planning for next year, early planning is key to the overall success of any project and the garden is no exception. We will tweak the crops to focus more on everyday requirements, vegetables with a longer “shelf life” and vegetables that produce the greatest yield for the area we have to grow.
We will eliminate or reduce the corn. We will definitely increase the amount of potatoes. We will plant a dedicated herb garden. We will recruit volunteers who have expertise in growing certain vegetables, i.e. a gardener who knows how to grow a perfect tomato will be assigned to staking and suckering the crops.The biggest collapse was in the harvesting and distribution of the produce. Blueberry Fields yielded far more fresh fruit and vegetables than Home Suite Hope has families so we plan to expand to other charities, food banks and outreach programs.
Ultimately we want Blueberry Fields to be a community training cooperative where future urban farmers can learn and share their ideas and knowledge about gardening to help others develop similar models. Blueberry Fields Community Garden is truly a grass roots initiative, recognized by the International Council of Shopping Centers at their annual awards ceremony in Toronto this past September. Well done everyone and we look forward to seeing you all next year!
Interested in signing up for next year?