It’s an empty lot now but Julie Pilon can already see the Lumby Community Garden thriving.
She got interested in the idea of a community garden when she was doing a breakfast program at a local school.
“I noticed that kids don’t always have breakfast and if they are hungry, what about our seniors and young families? Where are they getting food when food is so expensive?” said Pilon, chairman of the Whitevalley Community Resource Centre board of directors, a director for area D Regional District of the North Okanagan, and a Lumby Chamber of Commerce director.
She got to work looking for grants and was successful in getting a New Horizons for Seniors federal government grant for $10,900 last October. The village of Lumby donated the use of a 40-by-100-feet piece of land by the OAP Hall and there have been many in-kind donations.
The money will be used for supplies to build raised boxes and deer fencing and to provide a paid work experience for youth, who will work with seniors, schools and community members to learn about gardening. Anyone in the community can apply to have space in the garden and learn about growing plants, recycling and minimizing waste.
“People have responded really well to the idea and we have half the boxes gone already. The garden will eventually be totally self sustaining. This is a great community when it comes to getting things done,” said Pilon.
When the garden produce is ready, people can use what they want and share the rest with community members or the food bank.
The fourth annual Perennial Plant Exchange takes place now until May 14 at the Whitevalley Community Resource Centre. People are invited to drop off some perennial plants with information attached and take something new home to try.
For more information about the community garden call 250-547-8866.