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Crossfield community garden plots now available

The Crossfield and District Agricultural Society has expanded its community gardens and is now offering several additional plots to local green thumbs this spring and summer.

The Crossfield and District Agricultural Society has expanded its community garden program and is now offering several additional plots to local green thumbs this spring and summer.

The society will be offering plots at the Vista Community Garden located in Amery Park in the neighbourhood of Vista Crossing starting this month, with gates opening in May. The garden was previously run by the Town of Crossfield, and before that by a local developer, before the society took over administration of the amenity this year.

Zoey Robertson, volunteer and vice president of the Community Garden board, said that the organization decided to adopt the additional garden location, as it fits within the group’s mandate to give people space to “grow, get out, get active and eat healthy.” She added the decision was also influenced by some volunteers who offered to step up and help organize and maintain the garden.

“We hope that it is a space for people to come together and get to know one another, while creating a beautiful productive space in town,” Robertson said.

In previous years, the society has offered garden plots to residents at the Lodge Gardens Community Garden at Rocky View Lodge, a retirement and senior living facility in Crossfield. The society will continue to offer plots at the lodge as well as the new Vista Crossing location this spring.

According to Robertson, the gardens were originally built in 2014 with the aim of bringing the community together and encouraging Crossfieldians to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. She said the initiative is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic, as it something that locals can do to keep busy when so many other recreation options are closed due to public health restrictions.

“Being out in nature, meeting new people at a distance and being active are all great for mental health and improving moods during these stressful and lonely times,” Robertson said. “I think being part of the garden community gives people something positive to look forward to and a reason to leave the house that also has the added benefit of being able to feed you.

“[And] with a little hard work and care, many members grow food to enjoy year-round,” she added.

Plot sizes at the gardens range from 25 square feet to 100 square feet, with additional space available for particularly ambitious gardeners, depending on availability. Plots are rented on a per-season basis for a small fee, with gates closing on Oct. 31.

“We currently have a good amount of space still available and [we] would love to see more community members join us and get involved in our community gardening initiative,” Robertson said.

She added anyone in the community, regardless of age, is welcome to grow their own produce and get involved in the community gardens. Small plots are available for those who prefer something simple, like an herb garden, while large plots fit to grow enough food to feed an entire family are also available.

“We love to see families come and teach their children where food comes from and how much fun it can be to watch things grow and reap the yummy rewards of their hard work,” she said.

The agricultural society is also determined to give back to the community and encourages participants to donate their extra produce. They also have a kid’s gardening class that, according to Robertson, gives back to the community by donating food they grow in their 200-square-foot garden plot – last season produce was donated to the senior’s lodge.

Anyone interested in renting a plot of land for the upcoming season is asked to contact Robertson directly at [email protected]

Carmen Cundy,  

Follow me on Twitter @carmenrcundy  

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