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Growing group meeting needs of the community

Food First Chemainus setting the table for gardening priorities
The big picture shows the grouping of herb beds in the Chemainus Community Garden. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Food First Chemainus has come a long way in a short time.

The group was formed in October of last year for people who are interested in building community with the production and sharing of small-scale garden produce through public herb and community gardens, and yard share and fruit tree programs.

“The first official meeting was August (2021) where three of us showed up,” noted Nuria Sanchez, one of the founding members.

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There are now seven active members and the interest is growing, so to speak, all the time with more newcomers sure to join the group in due time.

A community garden set up behind the Chemainus United Church has been a great success.

“It ran all summer,” said Sanchez. “Cowichan Neighbourhood House, they use the herbs that are in there.”

The last two garden boxes were put on July 6. There are now a total of 11 boxes, with each one donated by a business or service club.

A sign was just erected there in early November with the garden in memory of Lynn Morrison.

The group remains active throughout the year to maintain the beds.

“We replenish it,” said Sanchez. “We’re obviously turning the beds over.

“Not much grows in the winter, but the herbs are still going to be there. We’ll be growing seedlings probably in February to hopefully be ready to put in the raised beds by spring.”

The surface has only been scratched for Food First Chemainus to expand its horizons.

“We really want people this year to participate in our yard share program,” added Sanchez.

That would involve making yard space available for people who want to garden or for those interested in gardening who don’t have land of their own.

The group is also anxious to hear from anyone who may have plants to donate or can drop them off.

And new members are always welcome. “The more, the merrier,” said Sanchez.

To become part of the group or for more information, it’s always available on Facebook at Food.First.Chemainus where there are already 124 members or on its website here.


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Sign recently put up for the community garden that honours Lynn Morrison. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Garden ties in the community are made with the connection between members of the Food First Chemainus group and signs recently put up at the community garden. From left: Elise Feltrin, Chelsey Taylor, Nuria Sanchez, Karissa Hurl, Terri Munro. (Photo submitted)
Some of the herbs still growing in the raised beds at the community garden. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Don Bodger

About the Author: Don Bodger

I've been a part of the newspaper industry since 1980 when I began on a part-time basis covering sports for the Ladysmith-Chemainus Chronicle.
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