As harvest season draws to a close, the gardeners at the new Port Severn Community Garden are being commended for their outstanding green thumbs. The Georgian Bay Mnidoo Gamii Biosphere and Township of Georgian Bay, with the help of local volunteers, began planning and designing the new Community Garden in January. Despite a slow start to the spring build, due to Covid-19, fruits, vegetables, and herbs have been flourishing all season. 

Located in front of the Port Severn Public Library, the garden features 10 raised beds, two of which are designed to meet accessibility standards. A fence shelters the beds from curious animals, while several water barrels and compost bins help gardeners carry out care and maintenance. Gardeners were keen to connect with one another both to learn, and share what they knew about gardening.  

Danielle Wieclawek, an experienced gardener who tended to a community garden plot expressed her appreciation not just for the space to grow, but the community of gardeners as well. “I had a great time growing and sharing so many lovely veggies and herbs with the fellow gardeners. What a pleasure it was to see the seasons change and each garden plot blossom and change with it. It’s truly a beautiful place” said Wieclawek. 

Sunflowers add even more colour to the Port Severn Community Garden, located right in front of the Public Library. Credit: R. Pollock

Over the entire gardening season, each garden plot produced an average of 30 pounds (13.6 kg) of produce. The garden plots are free to use with the suggestion that 20% of produce grown is donated to the Port Severn Food Bank to be distributed to local families. Gardeners went above and beyond this 20% request, with some plots like those belonging to the Baxter Ward Lions club donating 100% to the Food Bank. 

Whether eating, learning, or both, the garden offered a network and learning opportunity for those involved. “This community garden gave me a new experience in my community. So many people came together to make this project a success. I am grateful and proud to be a part of this community project”, said community gardener Shelly Adair.

The success of the Port Severn Community Garden has created momentum for more of these projects in the Township of Georgian Bay. Beginning in December 2021, plans will start to take place to design and build a new Community Garden in MacTier in 2022. Volunteers are needed for this project, please reach out to the Biosphere’s Education Programs Manager, Delaina Arnold, at [email protected] to learn more and get involved.  

A tote bin of fruits, veggies, and herbs was donated to the Port Severn Food Bank every two weeks. Credit: Danielle Wieclawek

The Township of Georgian Bay and Georgian Bay Biosphere would like to thank the dedicated volunteers who helped to build the garden and individual donors who made the project possible! A huge thank you also to the Baxter Ward Lions club for their efforts, TD Friends of the Environment Fund, Waubaushene Aggregates, McKenzie Seeds, and GB Heintzman Construction for their contributions to the Port Severn Community Garden. 

For more information on gardening in the Biosphere, visit www.gbbr.ca/gardens