Home Experience Simcoe County Amber Boies Essa Public Library Calls for Volunteers to Cultivate Thriving Community Garden

Essa Public Library Calls for Volunteers to Cultivate Thriving Community Garden

An unnamed garden gnome standing in the kid’s garden outside the Essa Public Library (Caleb Hooper/Borden Citizen)

The Essa Public Library wants your help fostering a community garden to promote growing local

The Essa Public Library is seeking volunteers of all ages and experience levels to help develop a newly planted community garden this summer, so grab your gloves, plant and pick all you please.

With the community at its core, the Essa Public Library received plant and seed donations from an organic farm Moondance Organics and Nottawasaga Pines Secondary School students, with some of the harvested crops being donated to the Angus Food Bank. The rest is available for the community to pick for free with no volunteering required.

Watering equipment and gardening tools await use outside of the Essa Public Library (Amber Boise/Borden Citizen)

“If [volunteers] are working in the city and they’re commuting, or whatever the case might be, they could come whenever suits their schedule,” said Coordinator of Public Engagement for the Essa Public Library, Emily Nakeff.

The community garden is open to the public all day, every day, with the main responsibilities being watering, weeding, harvesting and deadheading, all gardening tools are provided on site.

“If somebody said, ‘I’ve never touched a garden before in my life,’ come… we’ll show you what to do,” said Nakeff. “On the other side of the coin, if somebody is an avid gardener, they might be able to come and teach us a thing or two.”

A wooden obelisk in front of the Essa public Library southeast window (Amber Boise/Borden Citizen)

To make the garden more sustainable, it relies in part on rainwater collectors and composters to keep it healthy throughout the growing seasons. If plants die or fall in the garden bed, they’re often left alone to maintain their natural life cycle.

Not only is volunteering a great way to connect with other people and nature, but it can introduce community members in Angus to eating and growing local food. Volunteers don’t have to sign up or submit any forms to help with the garden and are welcome to take from it as well.

The garden includes a large variety of plants, herbs, vegetables, fruit and even some lesser-known native plants containing medicinal properties. There’s even a dedicated garden bed for kids who are curious about the gardening process.

A garden bed and planter outside the Angus Food Bank and the Essa Public Library (Caleb Hooper/Borden Citizen)

“Having a garden is almost like having a pet where it requires daily attention,” Nakeff said. “That’s why it can be challenging for people to have that at home. Anybody who might not have the means to do it or might not have the space or the time to commit to a garden full time at home, it gives them that opportunity to still come and participate.”

By: Caleb Hooper