Equal Ground Community Gardens held an intergenerational gardening event called Let’s Learn Gardening Together at the Doug Snook’s Community Centre on Saturday, April 15, 2023.
Taylor Edwards, the Equal Ground Community Gardens’ (EGCG) Greenhouse and Learning Centre Coordinator teamed up with the City of Brantford to bring a comprehensive lesson on plant care and the city and county’s 30 community gardens.
Edwards kicked off the two-hour session for adults and children with a presentation introducing ECGC as well as the basics of backyard gardening, green space access in the city and how to get involved in the community and its programs.
Children coloured and listened while adults enjoyed muffins and other snacks as Edwards spoke about beginner gardening.
“Ultimately if you’re a beginner gardener, the first step is really just to start with the knowledge you have with some seeds, soil and water and just get something growing,” she said. “Gardening is one of those skills that you just continue to build on and it’s all trial and error.”
Edwards noted that there are four spaces you could start a growing space: in ground, in raised beds, in containers and windowsill gardening.
She spoke about soil quality and control and how it effects your plants, as well as light preferences, watering schedules and when to plant based on outside temperatures.
“Soil, water and sun are the three main ingredients,” said Edwards. “You can’t really grow plants without soil because it gives the plants nutrients and food to make sure it can feed itself and produce. It’s also a vessel for water, we’re watering the soil and the water is going down to the soil so that the roots can pull the water up from the plants when its ready.”
Children got to inspect a bag of sprouted marigold seeds to help understand how seeds grow and Edwards explained that with the right conditions, seeds grow because they want to.
Edwards showed the children worms while explaining their role in the garden space before encouraging the group to grab a container, soil and some seeds as she walked them through the steps to starting their own seedlings.
Children and parents picked from a variety of seeds like watermelons, beans, peas, lettuce, herbs and more and quickly got to planting their very own seeds to take home. Edwards also sent guests home with marigold seedings that will eventually help to deter unwanted pests.
Parents took the opportunity to ask questions and receive tips to have a better chance at germination and how to transplant the seedling into the ground when it comes time near the end of May.
EGCG, which started in 2009 and was technically established in 2015, over the years the group has helped create 20 publicly accessible gardens, as well as 10 more privately owned community gardens.