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Fresh vegetables on Sherbrooke St. in NDG

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By: Sabrina Cipriani
Photos: Sabrina Cipriani

A collaboration between Transition NDG, Éco-quartier NDG, NDG Food Depot and Action Communiterre comes ‘Incredible Edibles’ for a second successful year!  On Saturday May 31st, a group of volunteers and some members of these organizations gathered in front of Coop La Maison Verte.  Music was playing to keep everyone feeling enthusiastic and motivated.  Jason Hughes a founding member of the Coop la Maison Verte said he provided storage space the past week for the project.  Hughes said, “The coop wanted to get involved on a personnel level with Transition NDG, this project connects people with the local merchants”.

EdiblesFeatA movement that started in England has created a trend around the world and made its way to Sherbrooke Street. It all started in the city of Todmorden as Louise Legault board member of Action Communiterre explained to me. “It started in England to create community on abandoned lots”. It has gone as far as the metro stations; vegetables and herbs growing on the streets.

Self-watering planters have been made from old recycling bins, electoral signs and old palettes. All over Sherbrooke, in front of popular establishments you will be able to see the final products of produce and herbs growing in front of you. Businesses on Sherbrooke were happy to help; they will take care of the planters in front of their stores and restaurants. Names like Bofinger, Café 92, Dad’s Bagels, Nettoyeur écologique Royal, Restaurant La Louisiane, Saving Grace were amongst the many listed as participants in this project.

IncredibleEdibles05Soil expert Wayne Radford volunteered his time to help enrich the soil before the planting began. Wayne sits on the Board of Directors for the Concordia Greenhouse, he along with Concordia donated soil from the campus. Wayne explained to me the importance of enriching soil, with insects, worms; plants need more nutrients to survive. He said, “You need to use A to Z to grow great strawberries, it’s all in the soil”.

Urban Seedlings, located in Lasalle, donated purple kale, shallots, lettuce, and rainbow chard to help get them started. As it seemed, they were overloaded with seedlings that various people had started growing in their homes the past few months.
‘A rising interest in Urban gardening, younger folks and older are coming together as a community’.

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Kathy Aitken from Transition NDG; the phone was ringing for her, volunteers were asking her thousands of questions, she had earth on her from planting, all this going on and a beautiful beaming smile. Kathy was having a marvelous time! She took a minute to speak to me and show me around, she explained, “This is a way for neighbors to get to know each other and for those with fewer resources to have access to some herbs and vegetables. What ever is left over will go to the NDG Food Bank”. She explained that in front of the Condo’s on Sherbrooke and Draper, (the space was donated by the condo building), there are three garden beds, one is the children’s garden, another is the bees and herbs garden, (the bees can come and eat to survive and pollinate our plants) and lastly the fast food garden which includes vegetables of all kinds.

Take a walk on Sherbrooke, the volunteers have worked so hard, look on their websites for upcoming workshops.
Gardening with children workshop; Saturday June 7th at 10am 3436 Draper (corner of Sherbrooke) –corresponds with the 100 in 1 day social movement-also on facebook

For more info, please visit incredible-edible-todmorden.co.uk/home

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