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Hemmingford community garden wins seed money from Diggers and Weeders

The Diggers and Weeders Garden Club of Montreal celebrated its 90th anniversary this past year by creating the Community Garden Awards in celebration of Canada’s impressive garden heritage.

The club, which is the oldest of its kind in the province, received 16 community garden proposals from churches, schools, libraries, horticultural societies, and not-for-profit farms. The Hemmingford Community Garden was selected as one of five recipients of the award, which included $500 for seeds and needs to support next year’s yield, as well as a one-year membership with Diggers and Weeders.

“We found the Hemmingford community garden was particularly outstanding given all the functions it promoted; namely, teaching young children how to grow vegetables and to be concerned and aware of the environment, as well as enjoining the community in the project with a social atmosphere,” says Diggers and Weeders vice-president Sharon De Gaspé Power.

 

Women stands in a garden with a welcome sign and house behind her.
Maude St Hilaire a member of the committee that manages the Hemmingford Community Garden nominated the garden for the Diggers and Weeders 90th Anniversary Community Garden Awards PHOTO Diggers and Weeders Garden Club

 

The Hemmingford community garden has existed since 2013, when the Maison des Jeunes de la Frontière, along with the two elementary schools and the municipal environment committee, came together to create it. The project, which received support from the Québec en Forme program, as well as the Au Coeur du Jardin volunteer service, Hemmingford Village, and the CLD des Jardins-de-Napierville, has grown to include the local CPE childcare centre and the day camp.

Since the start of the pandemic, the garden has opened a few plots to private citizens as well. Maude St-Hilaire, a member of the garden committee, says gardening tasks are shared between all involved, and the harvest is used for youth cooking workshops and is given back to the community in different ways. “Over the years, the surrounding businesses have been generous and have allowed us to expand the garden and purchase seeds and plants,” says St-Hilaire.

The prize money will be used to repair the boxes surrounding the raised garden beds and to purchase age-appropriate equipment for the younger gardeners. (SR)

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