Chelmsford comes together to plant edible forest garden
SUDBURY -- Volunteers didn't mind getting their hands dirty on Saturday afternoon as they rolled up their sleeves for the latest addition to Chelmsford's Cote Park.
Sudbury Shared Harvest has now organized an edible forest garden that will yield fruits throughout the year. It's the sixth garden the group has built throughout the city over the last few years.
"They have an existing pollinator garden and they're such an enthusiastic group that they wanted to have the sixth edible forest garden that Sudbury Shared Harvest has planted, put at their community garden site so today we're planting perennials," said youth programs coordinator Fionna Tough.
Volunteers came with shovels and wheelbarrows in hand while Sudbury Shared Harvest supplied the dirt, materials and plants.
Plants were chosen on their ability to adapt to the climate in Northern Ontario.
"We call it an edible forest garden because we're mimicking a forest system in terms of how we design it," said Tough.
Allison Tryon is the grade 5/6 teacher at Chelmsford Valley District Composite School and has been teaching her class about edible forest gardens.
They got involved after one of her student's grandmothers encouraged the class to apply for a grand through the Jane Goodall Foundation, in which they were given money.
They chose to donate that money to the garden itself.
"The kids were able to plan their own forest garden on paper and they just kind of watched through the Google world and then talked a little bit about it. My students went ahead and made posters to invite people to come today and here we are," said Tryon.
"They're going to be able to tell kids younger than them, kids older than them, parents, grandparents in their life what it is and hopefully come and use it."
One of her students who came to pitch in and help was grade six student Ayden Latour.
"So you can get like fresh berries and stuff from the garden, like everybody can go into this and get fresh food and stuff and I think it's really cool that you can just do that," said Latour.
Heidi Eisenhauer, a hobby gardener herself, gave volunteers a quick lesson on the importance of seeding.
"I mean it is pretty cool, it's great to have the community come out and work together, for other community members, and then when you get to see the fruits of your labour in the years to come, it's really exciting," she told CTV News.
Sudbury Shared Harvest says it's continuing to work in schools to teach students about the benefit of a sustainable, reliant food system.
They already have future plans for gardens in the works in both Espanola and French River. Their goal in Sudbury is to have an edible forest garden in each of the city's 12 wards by 2023.