Laughing Willow Community Garden Raised Bed

04-06-2015

It’s a beautiful day in the garden as Sherrill Stone McKay and Lorraine Hart tend to their vegetables.

The two are working side by side in Campbell River’s Laughing Willow Community Garden which boasts 20 individual garden beds full of food and flowers.

But there’s one garden bed that’s still ripe for the taking...

 

"Mobility challenges now no obstacle at Laughing Willow" by Kristen Douglas



It’s a beautiful day in the garden as Sherrill Stone McKay and Lorraine Hart tend to their vegetables.

The two are working side by side in Campbell River’s Laughing Willow Community Garden which boasts 20 individual garden beds full of food and flowers.

But there’s one garden bed that’s still ripe for the taking.

It’s a raised bed specially designed for someone with chronic health or mobility issues that make it difficult for someone to work in a typical garden.

Stone McKay says a crew of volunteers spent many weeks researching, designing and building the garden bed which allows for ample room for a wheelchair or walker to enter the garden and work around the bed.

“There’s blue chip gravel that packs around the garden bed so wheelchairs can be supported,” Stone McKay says. “It’s wheelchair and walker accessible. Now we just need a gardener to come and use it.”

The plot is 10 feet long by three feet wide and is 30 inches high. Because of its large size, Stone McKay says the plot could be split between two gardeners. The accessible garden plot is the last structure incorporated in the blueprints of the community garden to be built.

“We’re under the umbrella of Greenways Land Trust and right from the start, this was in the plan,” Stone McKay says. “This was the final piece.”

The Laughing Willow is more than just a garden; to the members, it’s a community.

“It’s a happy place to socialize and share information and bring in new gardeners and share ideas,” Hart says. “We help each other out. If someone goes away, we’ll help them with their watering.”

Stone McKay says even though the garden is in Willow Point, the gardeners that belong to the Laughing Willow come from all corners of the city.

“They come from all over town,” she said. “Some people have homes and a yard of their own but they don’t have the open, sunny space and some live in condos.”

Having a community garden gives them a space to come and do their own gardening and there’s a shed, which was built by the Rotary Club, full of tools that have been donated by the community.

“Everything in the shed can be used by everybody so you don’t have to go out and buy your own equipment,” Stone McKay says.

The gardeners also share a herb garden, two apple trees and a set of composters.

At the back of the garden, everyone pitches in to tend to a large garden bed that is full of food such as beans, blueberries, potatoes, kale, tomatoes, onions, strawberries and rhubarb which is grown specially for the food bank and the Salvation Army’s soup kitchen.

The Laughing Willow Community Garden is now in its fifth year of operation. The garden is located on the corner of Simms Road and Lawson Grove in what used to be Simms Park.

The city donated nearly $10,000 towards the construction of the garden and a number of local businesses donated funds, as well as individuals, to get the garden started.

For more information about the Laughing Willow Community garden or to apply for the raised garden bed, contact Sherrill Stone McKay at 778-878-7008.

http://www.campbellrivermirror.com/news/305897131.html 








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