Getting in touch with gardening roots

Edith Schaeffer initially wanted to offer garden rental plots on her property, north of Blackfalds, years ago.

Edith Schaeffer initially wanted to offer garden rental plots on her property, north of Blackfalds, years ago.

But when they weren’t immediately snapped up she asked a few questions and was told many people don’t know how to garden anymore.

She opened Spruce Lane Garden to the public eight years ago as a community garden in hopes that she could teach people what to do.

The organic garden, along Hwy 2A between Blackfalds and Lacombe, is made up of two garden plots that are 30 metres by 140 metres.

Schaeffer now shares the knowledge she gained as a child with others.

“If they’ve never picked up a hoe before it’s OK. I will teach them,” she said.

Schaeffer will tell each person what to do and give them a recipe card with further information. Besides teaching those who don’t yet have a green thumb how to garden, she also offers classes on canning, dehydrating and pickling the garden’s bounty.

Last year, there were 25 applicants, along with their spouses and children, who worked around two and a half hours a week at the garden.

As the harvest season begins, they divvy up what they’ve grown with the group.

In just a few short months radishes and green onions will be ready to harvest, then lettuce and spinach and at the end of July peas and beans.

A cornucopia of vegetables, including carrots, cauliflower, parsnips, potatoes and kohlrabi. This year they’ll try a few new plants, including bok choy and okra.

Each applicant pays $30 registration, plus $5 each week, and is provided with seeds and tools.

The individuals and families who take part take home around 800 pounds of vegetables each year, with the harvest happening from June to October.

“Getting in touch with nature is vital to my life,” Schaeffer said. “When you realize you can go out there and go barefoot in the soil you really become bonded with it.”

She said the garden is therapeutic for many people, with some preferring a job where they can work alone and mull something over and others wanting to have people close by to talk to.

“People get what they need out of the experience,” Schaeffer said.

She has been expecting to see an influx of new people to the garden this year with the recession on, but so far it hasn’t happened.

Applications are available at Blackfalds and Lacombe Neighbourhood Place.

Those wanting more information can phone Schaeffer at 403-343-4618 or by leave a message at 403-885-4666.

She will take applicants until the beginning of May, with the tilling starting May 6.

sobrien@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Rimbey-area landowner believes earthquake damaged his electricity supply

Underground line was damaged at same time quake hit, says landowner

Open call for musicians to play Ross Street Patio Parties in Red Deer

The City of Red Deer is inviting musicians from various different cultural… Continue reading

Rocky Mountain House citizens recognized in awards show

Mayor’s Recognition Awards handed out in ceremony last Friday

Red Deer monitoring creeks during spring melt

Residents advised to use common sense when approaching ice

Businesses worry about pricey budget promises

Alberta businesses are bracing for expensive promises the federal and provincial governments… Continue reading

WATCH: Celebrating francophone Canadians at the 10th annual Red Deer Winter Carnival

The event was hosted by the Red Deer region of the French-Canadian Association of Alberta Saturday

Family: Time to shed winter clothes and inhibitions

It has been a long, crazy cold winter. But, if the thermometer… Continue reading

Chelsea Carey rink registers two wins at world women’s curling event

SILKEBORG, Denmark — Canada’s Chelsea Carey rebounded nicely Sunday at the world… Continue reading

Canadian Bianca Andreescu has her first WTA title, winning BNP Paribas Open

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — Canadian Bianca Andreescu has her first WTA title.… Continue reading

‘Captain Marvel’ soars even higher with stellar 2nd weekend

LOS ANGELES — “Captain Marvel” has continued to dominate the global box… Continue reading

Budget to focus on affordable housing changes on supply, demand, regulation

OTTAWA — The Trudeau government will take steps in Tuesday’s federal budget… Continue reading

Kenney lieutenant denies running ‘puppet’ candidate in party leadership race

EDMONTON — The staffer at the centre of a spreading scandal over… Continue reading

RCMP find ammunition, machete after searching for ATV reported stolen

FROG LAKE, Alta. — Police say they found 600 rounds of ammunition… Continue reading

Most Read