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...a glimpse into life on Vancouver Island, needle felting, photography, food, gardening, etcetera...etcetera
"Happiness always looks small when you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and at once you learn how big and precious it is."
Maxim Gorky

Monday, October 3, 2011

Share the land...


 al·lot·ment[uh-lot-muhnt]  noun 

1. the act of allotting.  

2. a portion or thing allotted;  a share granted. 

3. (in U.S. military use) the portion of pay that an officer or enlisted person authorizes to be paid directly to another person, as a dependent, or an institution, as an insurance company. 

4. British . a plot of land rented to a gardener.

Now that we have the definition of allotment understood, I can take you on
a little tour of Sooke's community garden.
This post is especially for Gwynneth over at "ook" who keeps me
up on her allotment plot across the sea in Wales.
 Many people don't have the space for a garden and look to these
pieces of land to get their hands in the soil and a bit of home grown food on the table.
There's also a more important reason which is the sense of community
and kindred friendships through gardening that echoes many
peoples feelings about this place.
The day I went down there it was a gorgeous, sunny day and a handful 
of people were busy cleaning up and harvesting the bounty.
Here's Phoebe, one of the organizers and all 'round 'regular sunny faces down here.
Phoebe is also involved in the Sooke Food Chi project, promoting locally,
affordable food for all people in the area.
People of all walks of life can come to the many workshops and teachings provided here.
I found it interesting to see all of the different styles of gardens people have and their little
garden plot # paddles reflecting individual personalities as well...
The beauty of this place is the sense of kinship and shared spaces...
Very inspiring and motivating!
The fall harvest is showing off in big plump pumpkins...
Perfectly purple cabbage...
...showing off it's big elephant ear-like leaves...
...crazy, curly kale...
A few gardeners got their hands on some mammoth sunflower seeds and
boy are they living up to their names!!
...and just to give you a good idea of contrast, I had this eager lady stand next to the big boy...
They'll be some happy birds this winter!
This woman was happy to show me some of her bounty...
 She was giddy with excitement about her carrots, because she said she's never grown them like this before. She's so happy to have other gardeners share with her their tips and tricks with her.
Gardeners are the creative type in case you hadn't noticed!
...recyclers on the move.
Patterns on the cold frames caught my eye on this sunny day...
Bees are making homes in Sunriver as well...
Plots can be large or small but the important thing is that people are out there' growing food and flowers and enjoying the sense of camaraderie which comes with community.
It's all about sharing the land, your knowledge, a tip, a bit of compost and a cup of tea.
Just enjoying being out there.
And bringing home a bit of the harvest as well.

"Gardens, scholars say, are the first sign of commitment to a community.
When people plant corn, they're saying "let's stay here"
And by their connection to the land, they are connected to one another."
                                                                                           Anne Raver

For more information on the gardens and other related projects, have a look here.


gz said...

A lovely place indeed.
May I add, an allotment gardener is an Allotmenteer :-)

the wild magnolia said...

I enjoyed my visit to enchanted garden of community and caring.

Thank you for the visit, lovely garden, lovely photos.

JeannetteLS said...

What a magical place. The beauty, the community--from the learning plot to the harvest table, to the beehive and the sunflower. You name it. Thank you for this glimpse of practical artistry and TRUE community.