By Donna McMillan
THERE will soon be tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, herbs and more growing in the new Port Dover Seniors Group Community Garden.
Located at the former Doverwood School property next to Kinsmen Park, there are 12 four-foot by eight-foot raised garden beds now set up, Project Coordinator Adam Veri told the Maple Leaf last week.
Adam, who is an avid gardener, said the community garden idea blossomed with the news early in the COVID–19 lockdown that the province considered community gardens an essential service.
After discussions and positive feedback from the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit, Norfolk County Community Services and Port Dover Board of Trade, the Seniors’ Steering Committee gave the green light to the project.
The raised garden boxes were made by Tony Mendolia of Lilac Cottages. “They are beautiful, heavy duty boxes,” Adam said.
The Seniors’ group had funding for programming from a Trillium grant and received approval from Trillium for this project.
“Whatever we can grow can possibly go to the Food Bank as well as a market stand to raise money for seniors programming,” Adam shared. He would also envision the Sea Scouts being helped out.
Once gatherings are allowed, seniors will be meeting in the Sea Scout building in Kinsmen Park.
Post-coronavirus, the group envisions seniors having a plot to grow their own vegetables. The garden boxes, which are located on a former playground space, are placed far enough apart to allow for social distancing and for mobility equipment to navigate them. As well, there are wooden ledges if someone needs to sit down.
Under the current COVID–19 precautions, Adam made a commitment to plant and water so that the garden tools are only used by one person. County staff placed mulch over the garden area. Tending the beds and when it is time to harvest, others will be helping, he said.
The Port Dover Seniors’ Group is in the process of incorporating into a not-for-profit, Adam said. Establishing the Port Dover Seniors Group is being done in partnership with the Port Dover Board of Trade and Norfolk County.
Shown in the photo at the newly constructed Port Dover Seniors Group Community Garden are, left to right, interim board members Shana Greatrix and Steve Brightman, Project Manager Adam Veri, and interim board members Sue Finnie and Cate Evans.
Published June 24, 2020 in Port Dover Maple Leaf