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

New immigrants healthier than Canadian-born population

In 2016, 7.5 million immigrants were accounted for in Canada

Prevedoros launches new album three years in the making

Local composer, guitarist takes a page from philosopher Alan Watts

Don Quixote is the world’s best selling book

Canadians read, on average, just under six hours a week

Chinese Culture to light up 2019 Victoria Day Parade

Groups hopes Greater Victorians ‘view the culture, embrace the friendship’

Canada privacy watchdog taking Facebook to court

If the court application is successful, it could lead to modest fines and an order for Facebook to revamp its privacy

Wanted by Crime Stoppers

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you think the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris should be rebuilt?

Images of one of the word’s most iconic landmarks were seared into… Continue reading

One million recyclable bottles “lost” daily in B.C., foundation says

387 million beverage containers didn’t make it back into the province’s regulated deposit refund system in 2017

VIDEO: B.C.’s waving granny gets incredible send-off from school kids

Tinney Davidson has been waving at students on their way to school for over 11 years, but is moving in a month

Island-born Snowbirds pilot enjoying homecoming in skies over Comox

Logan Reid once stood clinging onto the fence outside the Comox Air… Continue reading

Attack on student in Courtenay ‘way more than bullying’, says mom

A Comox Valley mother said “it was way more than bullying” at… Continue reading

Vancouver man, 19, charged in human trafficking case involving teen girl

The 16-year-old girl was reported missing and later discovered in Vancouver

Most Read