Home > Greenspace > Community Garden

REAL Community Garden

Growing together since 2010

 

sign5April 6, 2021: All plots are allocated for the 2021 season.     

We have space for 12 individuals, families or community groups to have their own garden at the REAL Community Garden for the 2021 season.    If you would like one, don’t wait, contact us now!   Contact Katie Hoffman at kthoffman@cogeco.ca or call (613) 983-3360.

Another option in Smiths Falls is the Community Carrot Garden which operates on the grounds of Heritage House Museum.  Contact Ken Manwell at ken.manwell@sympatico.ca or phone (613) 284-0848 for additional information.  You should choose a location that is easy for you to access on a regular basis.

Note that the local Health Unit has established some COVID safety guidelines for community gardeners, which were update for 2021.

Safe Operating Requirements       Public Health Guidelines 

There is also a sign posted at the garden summarizing expectations.

 

Application Process

For new gardeners. We want to make sure each applicant is a good fit for our community garden. If you are inquiring about renting a plot for the first time, please contact Katie Hoffman directly by phone or email (see above).  You can also drop by the store at 85 William St. W. Smith Falls , or phone the store (613) 283-7999, to leave your phone and email for her to contact you. We would like to have the plots allocated by May 1, 2021.  

Returning Gardeners.  Please provide your  $25 payment (cash or cheque payable to REAL) and the signed Garden Agreement (just the last page) as soon as possible.  If you have not confirmed that you are returning, please do so immediately so we know how many plots are available to new-to-us gardeners.   

2021 Garden Agreement


About  the Garden

Each gardener is responsible for planting, maintaining and harvesting their own plot. The raised cedar beds were built in 2011, and replaced the four straw bale plots used in 2010. The cedar rail fencing you see was the result of four Heritage Cedar Rail Fence Building Workshops. The Stone Soup Sharing Plot was added in 2012, and three additional plots were added in 2014. Thanks to Rideau Community Health Services, ecoPerth/Lanark Local Flavours and REAL for making the 2014 expansion possible.

Several water barrels are located on site for watering.  Keeping the barrels filled from the tap and hose located on the building’s exterior is a shared responsibility.  A compost demonstration site was added adjacent to the gardens in 2018.

bedsThe REAL Community Garden is a great opportunity for a family or community group looking to experience gardening for the first time, or even experienced gardeners who do not have access to a suitable location. Guidance is available for novice gardeners.

Please note that the Stone Soup Sharing Plot has been discontinued.

For more information, please contact us. 

See photos of the Garden Construction

Background

In the spring of 2010 a series of four garden plots were built on the site of the REAL Deal for use by four partners: The Smiths Falls and District Club for Youth (SFDCY), Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS), The Link and REAL. These partners each planted and maintained their own vegetable (or other edibles) garden.

Ready to Plant

History. REAL had been interested in a community garden for our Environment Centre since moving onto the property in 2008. But for various reasons, funding being on of them, we did not get started. Three other local efforts to establish a community garden in Smiths Falls over the past ten years have faltered. One major reason was the lack of a suitable space, and another was a perceived lack of interest among residents. REAL felt we had a suitable space – enough sunny, open area, access to water, and within walking distance of downtown.

Startup in 2010. REAL decided to put out a call for interested residents, and a meeting was arranged. We had some people experienced with gardening and community gardens in particular, ecoPerth looking to promote gardening in this area, and a few organizations looking for a rewarding activity for their members.

The partners involved created four raised straw bale garden plots and managed then jointly. But each had their own plot to plant and harvest. REAL was one of the partners.  See some photos of the 2010 garden.

Additional Interest in 2011. Our efforts stirred some interest in the community, and a result we were able to put a call out and attract additional gardeners to take a total of eight plots in 2011. A contribution from the Community Health Centre paid for the bed construction. Much of the wood you see was donated. The group also made a successful application to the Walmart-Evergreen Green Grant program who have generously funded the soil, gravel, wood supports and signage.