The history of the gardens in the region
Partnering with the City of
As far as structure goes, in the past we have had two sign up days usually in April or May. The planting is very simple. Most people will plant
vegetables, and flowers while others will be a little more exotic. We try to
steer away from tall plants as it blocks the neighbours light for growth.
The end of the season is usually the first or second week in October when the garden and compose are cleaned up.
Today, the garden is run by volunteers, both from
Community for all to enjoy. In the summer it is a great place to bring a
picnic basket or a summer read. It is very peaceful.
McDougall Road Community Garden
Lacking curbs and sidewalks, tree-lined and narrow,
Ironically, the thirty-eight houses lining the street are rather non-descript and the obvious fact that no two houses are alike suggests many of them were built by their original owners. The way the houses are oriented, the spacing between them, their setbacks, and landscaping speak to a time when ordinary people governed the construction of homes and streets. Neither did first levelling the ground and clear-cutting the trees with huge machinery build this charming street. Consequently, the street is blessed with a graceful incline and seventy-five mature trees arcing a breathtaking canopy in the summer.
The street is a rare treasure. It speaks about life.
From the road it’s hard to see. It’s down a bit and four hundred feet away. But if you pause when walking by, sneak your gaze along the gravel drive and ‘round the house, for a meadow’s path appears. And depending on the time of year, that path will flow through tulips purple, phlox and pea; a garden does appear.
Tilled in the middle of a city, a bucolic setting, imbued with otherworldliness, quietly respected and unselfconsciously nurtured by an eclectic bunch of wonderful gardeners.
Unlike most, our community garden is on the property of a homeowner, who believes his acre lot of full sun and good soil, is a gift to be shared.
Perhaps the property owner’s gesture set the tone. Who knows? Regardless, generosity, goodwill and gratitude have always informed our work.
Reflecting the mystery and yet predictability of growing plants, our collective has evolved beautifully with little planning, few rules, and not a single meeting.
UW Community Garden Profile
The University of Waterloo Community Garden is made up of individual staff, students, and faculty. The goal is to promote and practice local organic food production, offer an example of sustainable living on campus, and to educate participants about gardening and vegetable production.
The garden promotes sustainable agricultural practices as well as sustainable lifestyle choices. Urban, organic farming enables people to practice a more conscientious form of consumption: it makes unproductive land productive, diverts waste (via composting), reduces the costs of food production (both visible and hidden, environmental and economic) and improves local biodiversity (through increased organic material in the soil, propagation of a more diverse range of cultivars, attraction of bird, insect and animal life). The garden also provides a source of fresh healthy food for students, staff, and community members that may otherwise not have access.
The garden is located on university land just north of
Several donations of seed and tools were made in 2006 which was the first year of production. In 2007 we were fortunate enough to secure $1000 from the Waterloo Environmental Studies Endowment Fund, and another $500 in 2008, to purchase inputs for the garden. The garden builds community by having organized potlucks, berry picking outings, field trips, and an end of season canning party. UW Food Services, Campus Grounds, and the WPIRG have all supported the garden by providing use of the land, a shed, water, money for tools, and help with connecting gardeners and recruiting volunteers. Food Services also provides compostable items to add to our growing compost piles. We have also started to supply some items to the on-campus farm market for sale.
The garden functions under the idea of a “Do-eaucracy”, where each individual takes on projects that they are interested in doing and no one is forced to help organize anything unless they want to take the project on. In this way it is truly grassroots and will survive as long as interest exists in the community.
One challenge of having the garden on campus is the fact that many students are gone during the summer. As a result, of approximately the 40 people that expressed interest in the garden only a small number of gardeners committed to the garden during the growing season; many of these gardeners having never gardened before. The garden is always looking for new participants.
For those that are not interested in gardening as a group, private plots are also made available free of charge.