With cool, wet weather in the first part of last month, and baking-hot temperatures ending it, you can say it’s been a challenging year so far for gardeners in the West Kootenay. But members of the Kaslo Community Garden are at least enjoying an improved facility.
“Last fall, despite COVID, we replaced the A Avenue fence. That was a project we really wanted to get done,” says Catherine McCormick, a member of the Kaslo Community Garden executive.
The new fence is only one improvement. The society also removed one garden plot and moved the raspberry patch in order to expand and improve their composting system this summer. The compost area will be enlarged and a system with lidded bins installed to keep the area better contained.
“It seems to be every time I work at the garden, there’s someone I don’t know who’s coming in to dump their stuff in the compost pile,” says McCormick. “We realized there needs to be a bigger area – it’s getting too crowded out there.”
Residents of Kaslo can put their garden waste in the society’s compost pile free of charge – though a donation to the society is appreciated.
McCormick says all 18 plots at the garden have been spoken for this year, and are producing greens and other vegetables. A couple of plots, as well as some berry patches and fruit tree,s are help-yourself.
“Our help-yourself gardens – and people do help themselves – and our self-pick berry gardens are enthusiastically picked,” she said.
Locals will also notice some changes to the berry patch this year.
“We’ll still be able to pick raspberries, as we have about a third of them moved, but the old raspberry patch will be replaced by the composing operation,” she says.
Another new feature this year is a pollinator garden – a flower garden designed to attract and feed bees and other pollinators.
“That came about because of a fundraiser for the Kaslo library,” says McCormick. A member of the society put in a bid for a pollinator-garden kit that was offered at an auction, and won. “So the Kaslo Community garden is home to one of those pollinator gardens.”
The projects were done with a $1,000 grant from CFNKLS, or Community Fund of North Kootenay Lake.
John Boivin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Valley Voice