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Community Garden

Join us at the Sharing Square Community Garden for the 2018 growing season! The garden is located outside of the Municipal Building at 151 King Street in Chester.

How we got started

In 2001, municipal staff started promoting a national program called "Plant-a-row, Grow-a-row" that asked gardeners to dedicate a row of their vegetable garden to growing food for local food banks. Shortly thereafter, we decided to have a garden of our own to show how fruitful a little work could be.

Staff gave up lunch hours to prepare, plant, and pick and gave the vegetables to the Lighthouse Food Bank under the Plant-a-row program, which provided all of the seeds.

Over the years, staff came and went, but the garden continued to flourish. We experimented with different vegetables, battled obstinate weeds, struggled with whose turn it was to water the garden, and happily picked our bounty every Tuesday.

Three years ago, Council approved expansion and the small patch became a larger patch, about three times the original size. Staff along with a few members of the community organized themselves as "Nourish Community Garden Cooperative" and re-christened the garden "Sharing Square Community Garden", which is open to all who have an interest in vegetable gardening, growing their own food, or eating garden-fresh produce. We expanded to include a natural herb garden, butterfly garden and a solitary fruit tree, which sadly met its demise last year after meeting the ride-on lawnmower for the first time.

Where we are now

As we continue growing (pun intended), we invite you to visit the community garden when you have a few minutes. Grab a handful of beans, harvest a few seeds for your own garden, and maybe pull a few weeds. 

Accessibility is our focus for 2018. We will incorporate "portable gardens" for those who can't access our community garden. There are 20 pre-planted container vegetable gardens available to those who are eligible and would like a small, freshly grown supply of select veggies right on their own doorstep. Preference will be given to those with mobility challenges, such as limited access to transportation or other challenges that limit movement. First come, first served and containers will be collected at the end of the season to be redistributed in the spring.

We will also construct four new raised garden beds that will allow those with mobility challenges an opportunity to enjoy the benefits of gardening. These beds are dedicated and not open for all residents to pick from, unlike the main community garden beds. These raised beds will accommodate wheelchairs and walkers, be high enough to either sit on or access more easily from a wheelchair than the lower, main beds. What is planted is entirely up to the selected gardener. If a bed is not used individually, the Municipality will use it to supplement the public beds and it will be signed to indicate that it's open to the general public.

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