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Community garden to break new ground this spring

Emily Distefano


This spring, Carman will be getting a new community garden, and the committee in charge of the project wants to share its plans with the public and get feedback later this month.

The Carman Community Garden committee is hosting an information session on January 24 at the Homestead Co-op boardroom (located in the office building next to the grocery store) at 7:00 p.m.

The idea first started through an evangelism group at the Canadian Reformed Church in Carman. Committee chair Pat Veldman said they were talking about how to get to know people better in the community.

“We were just looking for how you get to know your neighbours,” she said.

Coming from B.C. two and a half years ago, Veldman had experience with community gardens and the camaraderie they produce (along with actual produce).

She said it is a great way to get start conversations and get to know people.

The group contacted the Town of Carman, and were met with enthusiasm for the idea.

“It just kind of snowballed,” she said. “The town has been amazing, they’ve given us an amazing piece of land.”

The town has granted a parcel of land for the project, located in the town’s industrial park.

The Community Garden committee conducted a survey last fall and received 50 responses. Veldman said many people replied that they were interested.

“Basically what we’re hearing is people just want to come out, have a small plot, grow veggies for themselves and maybe some flowers,” she said. “There’s a real need.”

Some residents said that they would like a plot, but would need help to take care of it.

And lots of people were interested in information evenings.

The committee is planning to unveil their proposed garden design at their information meeting. The design includes various sizes of plots, a drive-in pathway through the middle of the land to allow for truck access, and permanent paths.

If you rent a plot, you should be able to keep it for as long as you want.

The group needs funds for some set-up costs, like a fence and possibly a shed with shared garden tools, so there will likely be a rental cost, although Veldman said they don’t know what the cost will be as of yet.

The committee is excited for ideas like volunteer partnerships and a communal dinner at the end of the growing season.

“I have great plans in my head,” said Veldman. “It can go so long as the town wants it. There’s huge potential”

And the committee is hoping to hear more about what, specifically, the community is looking for.

“If you want to be part of this garden, what do you want?” asked Veldman. “We can tell you this is how it will be, but that’s not community.”

People are also welcome to talk to Veldman about joining the committee.

If you’d like more information, you can contact Veldman at 204-751-5027 or