Business

Greenwood Garden Goodies well known in West Boundary area

Alison Anderson and daughter Callie  posing by a garden cold frame that  shelters romaine lettuce through the  early growing season. - PAT KELLY PHOTO
Alison Anderson and daughter Callie posing by a garden cold frame that shelters romaine lettuce through the early growing season.
— image credit: PAT KELLY PHOTO

During the 2012 gardening season, Alison Anderson and her market garden became well known in Greenwood and the West Boundary when she began offering customers chemical-free fruit and veggies from May to December.

Alison explains that she has been in the garden since she was 19. “It was never really a hobby as a child and once I got into university for my English degree I realized I had this knack for growing things. Reading and gardening go hand-in-hand. I go to the books of my four-season mentors for my guide.

“While I was going to university I would garden a little here and there and then it got serious once I moved to Penticton where we had a front yard that was completely edible.”

2011 was a big year for the Andersons. Their daughter Callie was born in May and they moved to Greenwood in October. “My one stipulation was that we had to have a big yard.”

On their acre and a quarter she has two greenhouses in play – one used for seeding and starts and the other to harden off the plants as they mature.

“From there they go into the cold frames. We’ve now got 23 cold frames made out of recycled windows and they have been producing well for us.”

She has been selling at temporary markets such as the Midway Spring Bazaar and the Rock Creek Christmas Craft Fair. Last season she also set up a stand at Deadwood Junction on Thursday nights. This year she will be at the Rock Creek Market most Saturdays as well as other temporary fairs and bazaars. The season at the market kicks off on May 4.

Alison also offers a delivery service to customers through an email ordering system. She sends out an email on Tuesdays to let buyers know the price, quantity and size of what is on offer that week. Customers email her back by 1 p.m. on Thursday and she delivers Fridays when it is convenient for her customers.

“If we’ve got surplus then our prices will go down,” explained Alison. “If it is not as available the prices do go up a little bit but we do try to keep them reasonable.”
Alison says her little farm provides a little bit of everything through the growing season.

“Starting in May we are going to have mixed greens as well as heads of lettuce. From there we will have radishes available and green onions. Come June we will have peas and spring potatoes and by the beginning of July we should be starting into the kale, Swiss chard, broccoli, cabbage and collards.

“The lettuce and the greens keep going right through to December. By August and September we will have full potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, squash, zucchini and more. Onions are a huge thing for us – we love to eat them and we love to grown them, so that’s been a fun one.”

They have just completed re-landscaping the main garden of their Strathmore Avenue property, adding 135 strawberries plus pear, cherry, apple and plum trees and blueberries and raspberries.

“We are looking forward to expanding on our fruit selection in the next two to three years as it grows and matures.

“I have written to Greenwood council and mayor asking them to allow laying hens within city limits too. Chickens would be an incredible asset for our little farm, plus the health benefit for my family. You can’t beat the manure once it is composted and chickens are great for eating bugs.”

Her request should be coming to table at one of the future council meetings and Alison is hoping for positive results.

She anticipates starting weekly deliveries this year on the first Friday of May.

“I am always looking for new customers so shoot me an email. When I send out an email there is no commitment, if you are interested in something then you order it – if not then you wait until next week to see if something entices you.”

Greenwood Garden Goodies uses no chemicals or herbicides, pesticides or fertilizer. The only soil amendments Alison uses are compost, lime and composted manure.

“Cam and I and our family try to eat local and try to support local so that is why we are bringing out fruit and veggies to the Boundary area. We believe that local food security is very important and access to fresh food for everybody.

“I have been busy with my own things but I would like to help with a community garden eventually,” says Alison, who last year completed an online Certificate of Sustainable Urban Agriculture through the University of Guelph.

“I hope people will give us an opportunity and let us fill their plates with healthy fresh fruit and vegetables from right here in Greenwood.”

Contact Alison at  greenwoodgardengoodies@gmail.com, on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/Greenwoodgardengoodies or by phone 250-488-2480.

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