Growth spurt for Gardens

Stettler Community Gardens continues to grow in size and support.

Heartland Beautification Committee chairman Rob Spencer shows off a new sign in front of the Stettler Community Gardens.

Stettler Community Gardens continues to grow in size and support. Heartland Beautification Committee planted its third season two weekends ago.

“We’ve got a lot of new and good ideas from neighbours (and) gardeners and added a lot of features from that,” said Rob Spencer, who chairs the beautification committee and the gardens subcommittee.

“We want to make the space more beautiful, with a picnic table, a bench and other plants,”

Starting with about 5,000 square feet in the first year, the garden has now expanded to about 12,000 square feet, with space for resident gardens and to produce food for the Stettler and District Food Bank.

“We are full-up again the community gardens,” Spencer said.

This year, about 30 residents have acquired lots, with larger space in demand this year.

For the food bank, the volunteers planted plenty of leafy vegetables, such as spinach, lettuce, swiss chard, broccoli and other greens.

“We want to provide as much over a longer period,” Spencer said.

Strawberries are expected to be available free for the picking this harvest season.

Fruit bushes, such as sour cherries and honey suckle and rhubarb, have also been planted.

This year, the garden has gained support from neighbours, schools and several businesses that provided seeds at discount prices.

“We’ve got almost every grade from Stettler schools, from kindergarten to Grade 11, who have contributed to the gardens this year,” Spencer said.

Grade 2 students from Stettler Elementary School created row markers.

In the coming weeks, the garden committee also plans to plant sunflowers around the perimeter of the gardens.

RICHARD FROESE, Independent reporter

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