Hope Community Garden members will have a late start this season due to the loss of their greenhouse.
A wind storm knocked over the structure last week, buckling the frame and ripping apart the plastic. Katimavik volunteers helped clean up the debris on Saturday.
“There was no way to fix it,” said garden coordinator Esther Brysch. “It’s a loss, but we will work our way through.”
Without a greenhouse, members will have limited crop turnover this season. Lettuce, Swiss chard, kohlrabis, broccoli, zucchini and squash seeds are usually planted in small trays in early spring before being transplanted into the garden. The greenhouse is also used to grow tomatoes and peppers during the summer.
“Normally I can have two different varieties of vegetables growing in the same spot, or maybe even three depending on the weather,” said Brysch. “This will probably not happen this year. We will start later because we have to seed directly into the ground.”
Brysch doesn’t know if or how the greenhouse will be replaced. The property insurance doesn’t cover wind damage.
The community garden at the corner of Coquihalla Street and Fourth Avenue is a project administered by Free Rein Associates. It was established five years ago through a grant from Fraser Health Authority and the support of numerous groups and organizations.
The brush-filled land was cleared, fencing was donated by the district, and wood for the plots was supplied by Rona. Spectra Energy and CUPE workers later provided the greenhouse and garden shed, and Jim Lasser Construction brought in heavy equipment to help volunteers build a front rock garden. Hope Communities in Bloom has also assisted the garden with planting, weeding, digging and growing.
Every spring volunteers, some with a small plot of their own, bring the garden to life. Members receive access to water, soil, lime and gardening tools.
Membership to the Hope Community Garden is $25, which goes towards helping the garden achieve financial independence once grant funding is exhausted.