Medicine Hat’s Community Food Connections Association is inviting gardeners to take part in its new, no-cost education program, Growing Gardeners.
The program, introduced earlier this month, aims to teach gardeners the best growing practices, as well as foster a non-judgmental community environment where local gardeners are able to share information and experiences.
CFCA organizers hope the program will equip gardeners of all skill levels with the tools and knowledge necessary to successfully grow a home garden, therefore reducing food insecurity in the community.
“CFCA is an organization working on food security issues here in Medicine Hat and surrounding area,” garden program co-ordiantor Genevieve Mathieu told the News. “Being able to grow your own food can help people to have more control over their food, save money; it can encourage people to learn where their food is coming from and potentially improve the quality of the food we’re eating.”
While the program is targeted toward new gardeners, Mathieu encourages anyone interested to join in a session.
“The thing I love about gardening is there’s no end to learning,” Mathieu said. “Whether you want to or not, you’re constantly going to be learning new things as a gardener. So I want people to come from any skill level, because we can all share stories and experiences and different things we’ve tried; our successes and failures. You don’t have to have to be a professional gardener to have something to bring to the table.”
Program sessions are held every Wednesday from 7-8:30 p.m. (weather depending) in the Root Cellar’s community garden, located behind the building, with access off Maple Avenue. Each week a new topic is discussed, such as how to choose a garden site, how to chart, what types of seeds to choose from, how to deal with weeds and insects, etc.
Session attendees may bring gardening gloves if they choose — as there will be hands-on learning elements — however most other supplies will be provided by CFCA.
“I hope this is something many people could benefit from,” said Mathieu. “We got a lot of positive feedback (so far). People are really excited.”
Growing Gardeners is scheduled to run weekly from June to September, then returning again next spring.
KENDALL KING, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News