The Oakridge Community Garden (OCG) has already exceeded expectations of many involved in its development, especially due to Covid-19 restrictions! It is coming along well given the background work that had to be done. Initial efforts began in January 2020. In mid-March, the Oakridge Community Association (OCA) board approved a 3-phase development starting 2020. For this growing season, it was anticipated that realistically the plan would include an Oakridge Community Garden sign, basic start-up plot plan, and some ground-level beds for vegetables and perennial plants for pollinators. Without much early vertical presence, a sign was important to announce that a former playing field adjacent to the outdoor hockey rink on Community Centre property would become the OCG. Thanks to Dakota Pallesen for creating the big OCG welcome sign!
When OCG board members learned in May that City of Calgary approval was subject to the production of vegetables in raised beds, planting of seeds and plants for consumption could not begin until untreated wooden boxes were built to contain a soil-compost mix. An ambitious goal of having the first seeds/edible plants planted by May 31st was dreamed. Thanks to many volunteer hours donated for ordering materials and construction, we completed 17 raised and filled garden boxes, and we were able to meet our May 31st deadline. The dream had become a reality! On Saturday, May 30th, another effort to raise the profile of the Oakridge Community Garden was planned and successfully executed. Being careful to take Covid-19 safety measures into account, volunteers and a small number of Oakridge "community at large" participants staged a Plant Exchange. Blessed with a sunny day, it generated more interest in the garden. The event was held in the Community Centre parking area. Some of the plants traded have even found a home in the community garden itself.
Since that first phase of development, Oakridge Community Garden has just kept going! Seeds and plants for edibles have been planted in the garden boxes and are growing like crazy. The box for the Calgary Interfaith Food Bank is planted with red onion, potato and squash.
With the help of a generous Neighbour Grant from The Calgary Foundation and a private donation, three 1000-litre water totes were delivered, mounted on attractive wood bases, now filled with water. To use leftover soil and compost, 6 additional raised garden boxes were completed - thanks again to the generous donation of many volunteer hours on Saturday, June 13th. Anyone interested in participating in the Oakridge Community Garden this growing season needs a membership for Oakridge
Community Association ($40) and a membership for Oakridge Community Garden ($10). Next year, a rental fee for each garden box will apply. A very limited number of boxes for this season will be available until June 21st. Contact Sandy Iwamoto-Fitzgibbon of Oakridge Community Association to purchase memberships by calling (403) 238-0007.