We were fortunate again this year to be given two plots in St. Andrew’s Memorial Anglican Church’s Community Garden. Rev. Matthew Kieswetter was our first Chair and instrumental in the visioning and development of the Kitchen Co-op. Since moving to take up full time responsibilities at St. Andrews, he has remained a faithful booster and supporter, although he could not continue on the Board given his time restraints.
This year we established one of the plots as an herb garden, planting a variety of both perennial and annual herbs. The perennials seem to be thriving and we hope to see them return next spring. Annual herbs like basil will again be planted in the spring. As pandemic restrictions lift and we are able to offer more cooking demonstrations, workshops and community dinners, this will be a valuable contribution to the kitchen!
The second plot was again experimental - two different types of tomatoes, radishes, Swiss chard, beets and carrots. Again the tomatoes started well, but they, along with those in other plots withered about mid-July. We suspect that the black walnut tree in the neighbouring yard may be the reason - so probably will not do tomatoes next year. The local rabbits enjoyed the Swiss chard and beet tops (so beets themselves did not develop!) but we did get a few carrots, although they were late in maturing and did not elongate well. Chicken wire might be a help, and even marigolds around the border. We will consult other gardeners to see which of their crops was most successful.
St. Andrew's has a Food Cupboard offering fresh produce along with canned goods to people who need assistance. We could consider donating our excess or unneeded produce to them (if we are not doing workshops for instance.)
We established a connection with The KW Community Garden Network. Through this contact, the kitchen facilitated the distribution of surplus produce from other community initiatives - to A Better Tent City cooks, Food Not Bombs, and the LSPIRG Student Food Security Project.
Thanks to Co-op members Eric, Alicia, Katy, Al, and Ann who maintained the garden throughout the summer!!