Establishing Roots in the Community

By Karin Kliewer, Good Work News, September 2003

Since the early spring of 2003, the formerly vacant lot on May Place has been filled with the steady hum of garden activity. Whether sod was being turned, raised bed boxes were being built, compost was being shovelled, or seeds were being planted, the once forgotten Kitchener lot has seen few days when someone was not busy digging into the midst of this downtown community project. Satisfying results are clearly visible when a passer-by stops to admire the ripe tomatoes, a gardener tastes the first crisp carrot, a neighbour lends a shovel in exchange for a bucket of healthy topsoil, a group of next-door children start their own small plot from bartered seeds, two gardeners push a heavy wheel barrow together to finish mulching the paths, the landlord donates a trellis, and a senior strolls by daily to appreciate the progress. A few simple seeds of a garden idea sown, yet resulting in the rooting of new lasting skills, friendships, and a harvest.

May Place Community Garden is located in a former vacant lot near Cedar & Weber Streets in downtown Kitchener. In 2003, the lot was transformed into a thriving garden that consists of 8-10 raised bed plots. Plots are generally available for a $20 annual fee (with $10 refund upon garden clean-up in the fall). May Place Community Garden is also part of the Waterloo Region Community Garden Network.

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