Grow it and they will come

Esquimalt resident providing community gardening leadership and vision

Esquimalt gardener Mark Salter

Mark Salter stands at the edge of Anderson Park Community Garden and gazes proudly at a bumper crop of vegetable plants.

“The artichokes off that bed were supposed to be fabulous,” the treasurer of the Esquimalt Community Gardens Society says pointing to a nearby wood-framed garden plot.

A year after he helped establish the garden, Salter is still a regular fixture there.

“The theory is you build it and they will come,” Salter says. All 16 plots in the garden are being used and six of eight newly constructed beds are available.

Plans to create a community garden simmered on the backburner for years until Salter championed the cause, says Marlene Lagoa, Esquimalt’s sustainability co-ordinator. For his leadership efforts Salter was recently awarded an EcoStar environmental award by the Capital Regional District.

“I question whether it would have happened without Mark,” Lagoa says. “He doesn’t even have a plot in the garden.

“Doesn’t that make him quite the leader? He just thought it was important and he wanted to share that.”

The plots are available for use by Esquimalt High and Ecole Victor-Brodeur students as well as Esquimalt residents, such as apartment dwellers, who can’t have backyard gardens.

At a cost of $60 a year, Esquimalt community gardeners have access to water, plants and workshops. Salter can also be found at the garden every Tuesday night throughout the summer from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. to answer questions and provide free gardening tips.

Despite the garden’s growing popularity, Salter says there’s room for improvement.

He hopes the gardens can be expanded, and plans to turn one section into what he calls a community shared garden where users can grow perennial herbs.

“It’s not a green paradise yet,” Salter says of the potential he sees in the garden. “It’s the gardener in me going, ‘It’s not a success yet.’”

emccracken@vicnews.com

 

 

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Thousands show for 40th GoodLife Marathon in downtown Victoria

New records, first-time runners, and stories of resilience

Mother of alleged hit-and-run victim hopes municipalities will work together to improve crosswalk

Young woman injured, dog killed when struck by driver on marked crosswalk at Foul Bay Road

Here comes the rain: Victoria can expect post Thanksgiving showers all week

Mild, rainy weather expected from Tuesday to Saturday

Opponents of Elizabeth May criticize her push to scrap temporary foreign worker program

May has proposed to scrap the federal program which supplies local business with temporary workers

Victoria woman uses loss to raise awareness of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day

City of Victoria to recognize Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day Oct. 15

VIDEO: Greater Victoria, here’s the news you missed this weekend

Dog killed in alleged hit and run, Goodlife Marathon takes over city and more

Canadian Snowbirds plane crashes before air show in Atlanta

Pilot lands safely after ejecting from jet

Share crash data, private insurers tell David Eby, ICBC

B.C. monopoly makes drivers retrieve their own records

B.C. VIEWS: Wolf kill, not backcountry bans, saving caribou

B.C.’s largest herds turn the corner from extinction

Pearson nets shootout winner as Canucks clip Flyers 3-2

Vancouver picks up second straight home win

Map on Elections Canada website sends Nanaimo-Ladysmith voters to landfill

Address for polling station correct, but Google Map address differs

BC Children’s Hospital launches 2 new virtual care sites bringing total to 19 across province

Provincial initiative allows pediatric patients to see health specialists through video

‘Wham-bam out the door’: Surrey man’s front yard left ruined by scamming landscaper

Resident warns neighbours to be careful of door-to-door salesmen

Most Read