Community Garden Planning!

Now is the time to let us know what you think!

Garden Design:
These designs include both plots for rent, and communally gardened beds where we share the bounty and the responsibility.

It starts with a fence: an 8′ wildlife fence to keep out rabbits, ungulates and other foragers.  From there, the idea is to start small and build on our successes – the size of the garden this year will depend on how many people want to be involved and how!

The total fenced area will be 25m x 43m – the images you see below are to scale.  This means that with 15 raised wicking beds and an approximately equivalent area for communal gardening, we will cultivate only about 1/3 of the whole space this year.

Garden Plan A:
Raised Wicking Beds along south west fence on high contour for water siphoning between beds.  Communal area mounded beds with swales for water catchment and pathways…any shape/design and size that we think is appropriate this year!
The green space along the interior of the fence allows space for climbing beans/peas etc.

 Garden Plan B:
Similar concept with the wicking beds, and communal garden space arranged differently.

Add to both of these designs a water cistern, elevated on a stand along the shorter length of the fence, at the shortest distance from the Hospital itself where we will draw water.  Add also a small tool shed, and perhaps a couple of small greenhouses, along the NE fence line.

Garden Access:
We are proposing 2 types of community garden membership:

1) Communal Garden Membership – $30/season with shared bounty/responsibility.  Must commit a minimum of time in the garden. This would include caring for the greenhouse/herb spiral/fence peas/Food Bank garden/communal beds, and participating in the workshop when the swales are dug and beds prepared for planting.

2) Plot Rental Membership– $50/season to rent an 8’x4′ raised wicking bed that you garden as you wish.  Renters will be required to participate in the assembly of their wicking beds by attending the workshop.

We Value Your Input!
Please take a few moments to answer these questions by commenting on this post!

1)  Which of the above designs do you prefer? What are your thoughts? Preferences? Insights?

2) How would you like to be involved?
    a) Rent a plot?
    b) Communal Garden?
To know how much space to allocate to each, we need to know how people prefer to be involved!

What is a wicking bed?
A raised bed in which the bottom half acts as a water resevoir both storing water, and slowly releasing it by “wicking” it up to the bottom of the roots.  Saves water by eliminating the evaporation that occurs when watering from the top,  encourages healthy root growth, and stores water.

What are swales?
essentially trenches that are designed to capture and store rainwater in between mounded garden beds, and then slowly release the water into the gardens.  If these trenches are filled with either gravel or wood mulch, they also act as pathways giving us access to our gardens while still holding and releasing water.

Community Garden Fundraiser!

Food Inc. The Movie & Silent Auction
Thurs. May 5th, 6pm 
@ Canmore High School Theatre

Free Movie n’ Munchies
Tons of great stuff up for grabs in the SILENT AUCTION!
Red Cruiser Bike, Bicycle Cafe – $750
Tattoo sessions with artists from New World Samurai – $220 each
Organic Fruit for a season, Farm Box – $420
Yoga Package: incl. props from Lulu Lemon/pass from The Yoga Lounge/1 private lesson – $160
Vastu Chai & Raynmaker Pottery Gift Basket – $150
Valhalla Pure gift certificate – $100
Brunch for 4 @ Banff Park Lodge – $100
gear from Patagonia – $TBA
gear from MEC – $TBA
Wildlife photography
Massage sessions  Calgary hotel stay

Let’s Make This Garden Grow!
Spread the word via Facebook

Wicking Beds and Global Buckets

Smart design solutions for a water-scarce garden!

Wicking Beds!
Raised beds that are irrigated from the bottom up so you don’t lose any water to evaporation, your roots are encouraged to grow deep, AND you can store water in the bottom of the beds.;=related
…a whole bunch of other You Tube videos on wicking beds of other designs….

What a great design for raised beds in the community garden at the hospital!  

Our water source is tricky: a 60m run to the hospital either for access to municipal water from their spigot, or any rainwater that we might be able to collect. Thoughts were to fill a big cistern near the garden every couple of weeks, and use the stored water in our gardens….but it’s a lot of work, and big cisterns can be expensive, so what if we stored our water in the bottom of our garden beds!

Lots of different ways use the concept of a wicking bed with different materials that might be available to us…lets get creative!!! …buckets, gravel, wood mulch, weeping tile, old garden hoses….any other ideas?

Global Buckets
Uses the same concept of water-wise bottom irrigation but uses recycled 5 gallon buckets…cheap, upcycled material, and small enough for a balcony/deck/rooftop/ indoor garden…. This design comes from to 14 year-olds!

The coolest thing here is how they’ve linked all the buckets together with a siphon-system so that you only need to irrigate in one place…imagine we hooked all of the wicking beds in the community garden together with the same technique, so that we had a system of self-watering gardens!