Something new is growing in front of the Township of Langley’s Civic Facility and people are eating it up.
A crop of vegetables and herbs has been planted in front of the building at 20338 – 65 Ave., to provide both decoration and education. The veggie patch, which includes corn, squash, zucchini, soy beans, curry plants, and three types of oregano, was planted by municipal gardeners who are pleased with the opportunity to try something new.
“It was nice to put the veggies in the bed, front and centre,” said Jason Calvert, who noted that those who pass by are taking a great interest in the mini garden. “We want to show people how they can harvest their own food.”
Parks design and development manager Al Neufeld recently attended a provincial seminar that suggested using municipal gardens to grow produce instead of just decorative plants, as a way to educate others. As resources become scarcer, low energy solutions to providing food need to be utilized.
“We encourage residents to take advantage of places where they can garden at home, such as in unproductive grass areas,” Neufeld said. He added that growing food can be beneficial — especially for children. “Kids need to know where our food comes from,” he said. “It doesn’t just come from the supermarket.”
The Civic Facility bed, which is normally full of flowers, was built up with a high-tech organic mix that includes everything from alfalfa meal to worm castings, and Calvert and gardener Darrell Pavich set about filling it with B.C. produce.
“People are really excited about it and are practically lining up to talk to us and ask questions,” said Pavich. “We are getting people talking about healthy eating and growing their own food.”
“We would love to see this become less of a novelty and more mainstream,” Calvert said. “With a little planning and effort, you too can grow vegetables and herbs within steps of your front door.”
Pavich and Calvert would like to continue with a winter bed of kale and chard, and hope to see the vegetable garden project expand to other Township facilities next year.