St. Patrick’s Organic Community Garden

Before: The land before Open Garden Day, former location of a school in Carbonear.

I had the wonderful good fortune of being toured around the St. Patrick’s Organic Community Garden in Carbonear this past Thursday. The garden is almost brand new, launched just this spring. It’s a lovely spot situated on a piece of land that used to be the foundation of a school. After the school was taken down Carbonear gave the community gardeners permission to use the land. The old school and nearby St. Patrick’s Church are where the garden gets its name.

The Garden includes 23 raised beds that are allotted to individuals in the area to grow food in. Some gardeners have chosen to share the beds among several people. There are two children’s beds, one maintained by Girl Guides, as well as a communal herb bed near the entrance. Gardeners share four compost bins and are able to use water provided by the Town of Carbonear. The beautiful, rustic fence surrounding the garden was built by local men.

After: The St. Patrick’s school grounds now transformed into a thriving Organic Community Garden.

Natalie Austin, local artisan jewelry maker, is one of the Garden’s organizers. She was kind enough to show us around and talked about the garden with such enthusiasm that I couldn’t help but be excited for Carbonear and what they’ve got growing. There are plans to extend the Garden beyond the 23 raised beds to also include a large section of land that is a bit higher up. Florence Button, local community organizer, talked about the great turn-out on the day the garden was set up. Over 90 local people showed up to help; friends, family and supporters of the people getting garden beds. She suspects that the Garden will keep expanding as more people get interested. You can see photos of that first Open Garden Day here.

Gardeners there are growing a great variety of foods including: spinach, cabbages, onions, leeks, carrots, radishes, zucchini, peppers, corn, strawberries, herbs, nasturtiums, squash, lettuce, Swiss chard and other cooking greens, turnips, potatoes, and more! Reading the Garden’s mission, it’s easy to see that they are making their beliefs into a reality: “we believe that everyone has the right to healthy, sustainable, local food, and that we are part of the answer to making this a reality for everyone in the area”.

Root Cellars Rock wishes the St. Patrick’s Organic Community Garden a fantastic harvest in their first season and many years of successful growing to come! Thanks for showing us around.

For more information about the St. Patrick’s Organic Community Garden, visit their facebook group. All the photos from our visit can be found in this album. Get in touch with us at info@rootcellarsrock.ca if you also participate with a community project in NL that is helping to make local food more accessible, and would like to see your group highlighted here too.

Left to Right: Natalie Austin (garden organizer), Frances Saunders (visitor to the garden), Florence Button (community mover & shaker), with a harvest of radishes.

Rain barrel and compost bins.

A place for community and plants to thrive.

One of the children’s beds surrounded by wood chip mulch.

Radish harvest.

The handmade fence that surrounds the garden.

A mixed bed overflowing with life.

Nearby St. Patrick’s Church.

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