A birds-eye view of Castlegardens. Photo: David Greaves

A birds-eye view of Castlegardens. Photo: David Greaves

Castlegardens growing thanks to CBT grant

Kootenay Food Strategy Society upgrading Castlegar community garden

The Castlegardens community garden is about to see some major upgrades thanks to a $85,900 grant from Columbia Basin Trust.

Kootenay Food Strategy Society (KFSS), the group that oversees the garden on the 5th Avenue side of Millennium Park, applied for the grant in order to build more garden beds, upgrade the commons area and fence the property.

The garden has beds that members can rent for their own use and additional commons area beds tended by the group for the food bank and people in need.

The commons area will be getting 25 new raised 4 x 8 ft. beds with cold frame covers to help extend the growing season.

With the addition of the new beds, Greaves says the group is working with the Community Harvest Food Bank to ensure they grow what will be most useful for the community and “making sure we are growing with purpose.”

An existing shed on the property will be expanded and a waste recovery system that includes vermiculture will be installed.

The most expensive part of the upgrades will be fencing the entire garden to cut down on animal attractant issues.

Some of the money will also be used to purchase new tools and things like hoses and wheelbarrows.

“This ‘growing’ need is more prevalent now than ever before as witnessed through the trial and tribulation surrounding global supply chain uncertainties and social inequities,” said KFSS president David Greaves. “It’s paramount that we take action today to sow the seeds of inter-generational knowledge sharing, adaptability and collaborative action.”

One aspect of the garden that Greaves is especially excited about the participation from local children.

Last year students from Twin Rivers Elementary helped build nine new beds for the garden and pitched in with other garden tasks.

“They have really been a volunteer force for us,” said Greaves.

“The really unique thing about the students coming down is that there is a lot of knowledge sharing that happens between the older gardeners and the students and their teachers … all the while allowing the children to champion food security.”

KFSS is completely run by volunteers and is looking for more members and board members. If you are interested in helping or growing, the group will be holding its annual general meeting on March 26 at the Millennium Park Pavilion at 1 p.m. You can also email kfssociety@gmail.com for more information.

READ MORE: Kokanee population ‘collapsed’ in Kootenay Lake but unlikely to disappear



betsy.kline@castlegarnews.com

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Garden beds at Castlegardens at Millennium Park. Photo: Kootenay Food Strategy Society