Organic plots put people in touch with roots of gardening

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

WATCH: More than 100 protest UN migration pact, carbon tax in Red Deer

Chants of “Trudeau must go” echoed through the streets of downtown Red… Continue reading

Report: China is driving use of armed drones in Middle East

BEIRUT — The use of armed drones in the Middle East, driven… Continue reading

Canadian home sales fall for a 3rd month; new listings also down: CREA

OTTAWA — Home sales across the country fell for a third month… Continue reading

Speaker at rally says Alberta oil ‘puts tofu on the table in Toronto!’

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. — A rally in support of Alberta’s oil industry… Continue reading

‘Are we going to play?’ Alberta boy with rare illness no big deal for classmates

ONOWAY, Alta. — Four-year-old Porter Stanley has some new pals at preschool.… Continue reading

Speaker at rally says Alberta oil ‘puts tofu on the table in Toronto!’

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. — A rally in support of Alberta’s oil industry… Continue reading

Brazil police say faith healer has turned himself in

RIO DE JANEIRO — A celebrity faith healer accused of sexually abusing… Continue reading

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

VANCOUVER — Nicola Froese says she has always loved playing sports, but… Continue reading

Canada’s Kim McRae finishes seventh at luge World Cup in Lake Placid, N.Y.

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — Canada’s Kim McRae finished in seventh place at… Continue reading

Jeff Bridges to receive Cecil B. DeMille Award at Globes

LOS ANGELES — Jeff Bridges may have once been considered as one… Continue reading

Top of mind: ‘Justice’ is Merriam-Webster’s word of the year

NEW YORK — Racial justice. Obstruction of justice. Social justice. The Justice… Continue reading

Man who demolished landmark house ordered to build replica

SAN FRANCISCO — A man who illegally demolished a San Francisco house… Continue reading

Giuliani: ‘Over my dead body’ will Mueller interview Trump

WASHINGTON — With a number of probes moving closer to the Oval… Continue reading

Quebecers criticize western oil but buying more gasoline, SUVs, bigger homes: report

MONTREAL — Quebec’s premier is quick to reject “dirty” oil from Western… Continue reading

Most Read