Chelsea Holley

Get in on the garden fun

Experience the fun and affordable way to put tasty food on your plate

New to gardening? Wanna be? Take the “one and one” challenge to experience the fun and affordable way to put tasty food on your plate.

“Ripe red tomatoes straight off the vine and strawberries right outside the back door remind us that freshness and superior taste are some of the rewards of growing your own food,” says Chelsea Holley, who led the charge to develop a small unused neighbourhood park space into the Laughing Willow Community Garden. “Gardening can also be therapeutic, fun and save you money. The beauty is you don’t have to go big or spend a whole lot of time doing it!”

With gardening season officially begun, the “one and one” challenge encourages non-gardeners in particular to start small and enjoy success before branching out into bigger garden projects. First, try growing herbs in a sundeck pot or use a small space in the back yard or former veggie garden to grow one thing.

“By not taking on too much, new gardeners will see how easy it is and how nice it is to eat something fresh and more flavorful right outside your door,” says Morgan Ostler, former Councillor, local food columnist and member of the City’s Agricultural Plan steering committee.

The challenge is self-perpetuating, encouraging people to add another type fruit or vegetable to their garden the next year and three the year after and so on.

“Growing things to eat and things that look pretty take the same amount of work, and before you know it, you’ll reap the benefits of growing your own food all season long,” Holley adds. “This is a way to develop a whole new relationship with fresh food, and it’s a healthy habit to share with family members of all ages, and your neighbourhood.”