The Garden Thymes


EDITOR’S NOTE: This will be the first in a regular monthly column being provided by the Western Manitoulin Community Garden (WMCG).

Linda Willson for The Recorder

The Western Manitoulin Community Garden (WMCG), located along Highway 540 just outside of Gore Bay (in Gordon/Barrie Island), had a great season in 2020. 

We are passionate about providing healthy, locally grown food for our community and would like to find ways to encourage and help others to provide for themselves and others. 

This is our large area dedicated to growing produce for our food programs such as the Good Food Box, the United Church food locker, Manitoulin Secondary School food locker and Manitoulin Family Resources (MFR) food bank. 

We had two summer employees to work with us. These two wonderful young men, with youthful energy, were able to add so much to the community by keeping up the Kids Can Grow area, which did not see the school children last year because of COVID-19, getting and keeping the community food garden organized and tidy, making signs, being on top of the weeding and watering needs, therein helping to provide about three bushels of food each week to community food programs during harvest. This was done while keeping and teaching COVID-19 protocol.

The summer employees were able to take a lot of burden off the volunteers as they gained knowledge and skills and were able to see what was needed daily and get it done. We have applied for them again this year and hope that we get the grant.

At WMCG we have plots and raised beds available for groups, families or individuals to use for their own gardening. We have people come to work on their own gardens, some to do that and help in the community food garden and some come simply to volunteer their time and energy. We are a community garden and we are grateful for community support and acknowledge (some may not be listed); Joyce Young, Balkinds, Noble Lumber, Steele’s Home Hardware, Manitoulin Transport, Hugh McLaughlin and family, Jasmine Drudge-Willson, Connie MacKenzie, Aurora Bates, Melissa and Paul, Gordon and Peggy, Ken and Chris McCartney, Linda and Chuc Willson, Will Donnelly, Kim Neale and Jim Cahill, Joel Lock and family, Steve and Maria Chovaz, Amber Wiwchar, Luke Heinen, Sarah Earley and Scott Miller, Joanna and Alisha Allison, Gerry Smith and Gigi Sartor, Megan Beurling, Meekers and Ray at Mother Earth’s Garden.

Last year we had a temporary shade shelter with a small vegetable wash up area and we are trying to come up with funds to build a permanent pavilion and wash up area. At some point we would like to create a root cellar to be able to harvest and keep food until needed for the food programs.

We have 13 raised beds available, six new last year and numerous plots. Requests for space this year has begun. Contact Sarah Earley if you are interestd in becoming a member of the community garden. or 705-210-0422.

Our seeds are ordered, some have arrived, and we are planning this year’s garden.

Are your seeds ready?