Westville Garden Club learns about community gardens

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The Westville and Area Gardening Club met in the cafeteria of the Walter Duggan Elementary School on April 16.


There were 17 people in attendance and one guest. President Bill Dewtie welcomed everyone and asked Ross Cameron to show the group a few of the dahlias that had sprouted since the last meeting. 


Cameron is always willing to share his experiences with the club and share his enthusiasm of growing dahlias and canna lilies. Ross said that once the eyes appear that is when it comes time to plant the blubs, he will bury them about 4 inches in the prepared soil and that he also likes to mound the soil as it grows.


These bulbs can be planted in early May, most of the time. A very helpful hint that Cameron shared is that when you put plant the bulbs, he will place a stake along side of the bulb to take the plant when it grows tall.  He shares his love of dahlias with his neighbours and the deer that frequent his flower beds. He looks forward to the blooms in late August and early September. He also plants these bulbs about four inches deep.


As the meeting continued, Dewtie mentioned that there were about 50 people representing the towns of Westville and Stellarton. The bus travelled to Cobequid Educational Centre in Truro to see if there could be something done to keep the Highland Middle School in the Town of Westville. It was very unfortunate that the trip was done in vain, he said.


Jim and Maureen Notely will be the representatives at the annual volunteer presentation that the Town of Westville hosts every year.  The annual plant and new to you sale will be held Saturday, May 31 with a start time of 9 a.m. Volutneers can begin setting up their plants at 8 a.m.  The sale will end at noon or when the items are sold out. The location has yet to be determined, however, it will not take place in the usual location of the parking lot of the Church of the Holy Name.


The next meeting will be held Wednesday, May 31 at 7:30 p.m. in the cafeteria of the Walter Duggan Elementary School.


Kelley Cavan was the guest speaker for the evening. Cavan works for the public health services located at 690 East River Road. She gave an informative talk on community gardens. This has been a special project started four years ago to educate the public on the benefits of growing their own produce. They shared their experience with families who would not have the opportunity to nurture their own gardens.


Cavan and her volunteers start with seeds and healthy transplants and prepared soil.  It is not all fun, but the rewards are tremendous. Once the vegetables have been harvested, the work continues. Cavan will educate the recipients on the preparation of using the vegetables to prepare healthy meals.  She particularly loves to distribute the bags of healthy foods to those in need of them.


She shared her experience and produce with Kid’s First, Tearmann House, New Hope and lately Roots House for Youth.  Last year, the community garden was supplied by Christensen’s Vegetable Farms Inc.  The plot was prepared by the Christensen Farm’s team and Cavan and her team set to work.  They quickly realized that the deer shared their interest in the garden so she set up old fish nets to keep the deer out. Even with challenges, the plot yielded 1500 pounds of vegetables. This year, with some fresh produce, Cavan and her team would like to offer not only the cooking classes as offered in previous years, but would like to offer classes in canning and making james and jellies.


Kelley would accept any donations; none are too big or too small. Even if in the beginning anyone could donate transplants and later bottles or their time weeding –everything is much appreciated and her goal is to help educate others to eat healthy and in turn be healthy.  Kelley shared her gardening tips found at www.growarow.org/indexENG.htm.


If anyone has extra produce, harvest your vegetables or fruit, wash off the soil, trim excess leaves and contact Kelley and her team to arrange for a drop off or pick up.  She can be reached phone at 752-7600 or by email at Kelley.cavan@pcha.nshealth.ca




Organizations: Walter Duggan Elementary School, Westville Garden Club, Area Gardening Club Cobequid Educational Centre Highland Middle School Church of the Holy Name Tearmann House New Hope Roots House for Youth Vegetable Farms Christensen Farm

Geographic location: Westville, Stellarton, Truro 690 East River Road

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