There are many opportunities to garden at UCV. Some of our members have home gardens and more than enough on their plate managing that, but others live in condos or apartments and enjoy the chance to beautify our grounds and enjoy the company of others who love dirt! This year a group that started with a mystery pal connection have collaboratively planted, harvested and learned together.
Work with a crew once a month
Once a month on the 3rd Saturday a crew arrives and Patti Turner helps them find things that work for them and help keep our extensive grounds and gardens looking good. Patti brings home-cooked snacks! There’s a role for you whatever your physical constraints or abilities and interests.
Help with the labyrinths
Our garden path labyrinth can always use work and a couple of us get together on a spontaneous schedule if it looks like a good day. If you’d like to join us, or know some regular tasks that need doing that you can do on your own time, just drop Mary Bennett a note. Mary’s also been planting drought-resistant plants around the concrete labyrinth to keep the weeds back. Fall is a good time to move a few things around and add some snowdrops and grape hyacinths for the spring.
Vegetable gardens on north side
You may have noticed the vegetable gardens on the north side of the property. These were first put in after digging up lawn (we have a lot of it, and are lessening it over time) in the mid-90s. At the same time, we put heather on the SW corner and a herb garden on the south side.
The farthest west gardens are for the Children’s program. Yvonne and Megumi tend to manage it, but welcome ideas and help from kids and youth.
Free Herb Garden
The farthest east has two sections. The upper part was looked after by Mairy Beam and Mary Bennett and is now a Pagan group Free Herb Garden. We often pick and share the herbs with the earth spirit circle. We’ve been making stakes to label the herbs. You are welcome to pick any time.
More details here: https://vancouverunitarians.ca/herbs/
Mystery Pal (Plus) Garden)
The lower part started as a Mystery Pal project with Cynthia and Gaon and now has a team of 8 involved.
Veggie Plots in the Middle Area
The largest area in the middle is divided into a number of smaller plots from 3′ square to about 4′ x 6′.
The gardeners there include:
- Megumi/Amy Anderson (Love Soup)
- Mary Bennett
- Sandy Riecken
- Gerda Schulz
- Patti Turner
- Cayla, Jill and Sebastian (garlic collective)
- UCV Staff
Southern 3 boxes
The southern three boxes are prioritized for our families or mystery pal pairs/groups. They’re about 3′ (one meter) square, so you could plant just a few items–low maintenance–and others would likely help you if you need it!
Would you like to have a vegetable garden area at UCV — or work with others on their plots?
Would you like to have a small plot of your own either for yourself or to support a program at UCV? You could do it as part of a pair or group or on your own.
Mary’s been working on helping new gardeners find a plot of a size that works for them and over time building up the very clay-y soil with compost and dried leaves.
There’s some space available for another plot or two, including a raised bed near the sidewalk that wouldn’t require much bending. It might work for someone in a wheel chair even. Contact Mary if you’d like to take on a plot.
Coming this fall: a rhubarb patch. In the spring we’ll harvest and share with a congregational group. Maybe Messy Church if it starts up again. Bakers will be needed to harvest rhubarb and put into something like muffins!
Adopt a little area
Once people start gardening at UCV they quickly begin to notice the expanse of the property and the need for many hands to make light work. Some years ago, there was a suggestion that individuals might “adopt an area” – perhaps even a very, very small area and take it on to weed, water and perhaps even plant.
Is there a spot you’ve noticed needs some pruning or weeding?
Talk to Patti if you are ready to adopt a section of the grounds. She’d love to hear from you.