Community Gardens needs re-construction project volunteers

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Tillsonburg Community Gardens needs volunteers for a summer project scheduled to start as soon as they can find the help.

The outer perimeter fence at the community gardens needs to be reconstructed.

“We’re going to put the new posts in a foot out from the old ones,” said site manager Al Robson. “And leave the old fence there until we build the new fence, then take down the old fence.”

“If we can get help,” said the group’s secretary, Karen Robinson. “That’s our big problem, the help. We desperately, desperately need help. I don’t know if there are any groups that would be interested in helping? Or individuals? Would it work for volunteer hours for high school students? That’s a possibility.”

“A service club?” Robson asked. “Maybe.”

“It’s something that three people can’t do,” said Robinson. “There’s no sense in starting it if there’s no people to help do it.”

“Hopefully there’s some…” said Robson.

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May 1 was opening day for the Tillsonburg Community Gardens on Bloomer Street, south of the Simcoe Street bridge.

There are approximately 30 garden plots on the site, each measuring 10 feet by 20 feet, and as of Saturday there were only a few still available for registration.

“A lot came back, but quite a few new ones,” said treasurer Marianne Begin. “A lot of them are taking two plots now, too, which is good. If they wanted two plots, they had to register early if they wanted them together.”

“We were concerned because with the shutdown, it kind of looked like we weren’t going to be opened,” said Robinson, who got confirmation from Mayor Stephen Molnar they would be able to open with restrictions in place.

Information on renting garden plots is posted at the Bloomer Street site.

The special highlight Saturday was recognizing and thanking Tillsonburg farmer Mike Peever of Canadian Imperial Ginseng for the generous gift of recycled posts which will be used to rebuild the garden’s perimeter fencing.

“Mike gave us about 80 posts – that’s our next big project,” said Robson.

“We always have extra stuff laying around,” said Peever. “So there’s no reason not to.”

“We want to rebuild it… because it’s old,” said Robson. “It’s nine years old now.”

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only five gardeners are currently allowed inside the gardens at one time. And they have to social distance.

Some gardeners have already begun, but most will wait another week or two. Several plots were being rototilled Saturday.

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“The old standby is May 24 for tomatoes and things like that,” said Robson, who had his first garden at the Community Gardens last summer. “But this gentleman at the back, he’s got peas in, he’s got beans in.”

The Community Gardens will be open to registered members until October.

“I enjoy coming down here,” said Robson. “My specialty is tomatoes. I just fill up the plot with tomatoes and my wife does a lot of canning. It works out very well.”

Robson said he enjoys the outdoors and working the ground, and the exercise.

“If you keep at it, it’s good exercise. Plus, there’s very nice people involved.”

cabbott@postmedia.com

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