The first harvest of a wide selection of vegetables at the St Luke’s Community Gardens [has been completed now]. The project exemplifies one of the parish goals: “connecting with our community”. And the crop includes varieties of tomatoes, cabbages, peppers, potatoes, carrots, zucchini and squash.
The Gardens are a collaboration, begun in 2017, between Peterborough GreenUp and St Luke’s Church. As discussions progressed, the idea of vegetable gardens for members of the local neighbourhood emerged. Peterborough GreenUp, through its Sustainable Urban Neighbourhoods (SUN) programme, was developing links with people in the Curtis Creek area of East City Peterborough.
At the same time as part of its mission, St Luke’s was forging connections with their local neighbourhood. “We were searching for ways to connect with the local community at a grassroots level, to connect with individuals in the neighbourhood, people not currently involved with the parish,” Lorraine Brown, Churchwarden and parish liaison said.
Throughout the winter of 2018, the co-coordinators of the garden project met at the church with interested neighbours to determine scheduling, garden design, responsibilities of the gardeners, and the role the parish would play. In the spring of 2019, staff from Johnston’s Greenhouses removed the sod on the church lawns to create a series of individual garden plots. A few days later, the neighbourhood gardeners prepared the gardens for planting.
As the gardens began to take shape, Anica James, neighbourhood co-coordinator of the garden project, added a few fruit trees and interspersed wildflowers throughout the gardens.
Jill McCullough, neighbourhood co-coordinator, summed it all up, “It has been wonderful being involved from the ground up. From lawn to happy gardeners and now harvest time. Many people walking by comment on what a wonderful thing the church has done with this use of space. I couldn't agree more. So much positive!”