Local patrons and businesses put ‘community’ in new community garden

Community Garden volunteers prepare seedlings for the upcoming plant sale on May 30. – Photo SPIN.

The Sun Peaks Community Garden will be ready late in July for its first season on a first come, first serve basis.

A total of twenty garden plots will be popping up on the corner of Sun Peaks Rd. and Industrial Way for $60 per plot, per year. Two plots will be open for planters looking to learn and get their hands dirty, and another two are raised and reserved for those with mobility issues. 

The community garden will also include a sandbox for children to play in, a display of native plants will double as a seed collecting location, and a water catchment system using the Sun Peaks bottle depot’s building to provide water for the garden, said Catherine Tarasoff, president of the Sun Peaks Community Garden.

“The rainwater catchment system will hopefully encourage residents to consider rainwater catchment too. Once it’s up and running it will be a site for education and demonstration for the community.”

Tarasoff added the garden was only made possible by the help of local businesses who donated supplies or proceeds from fundraisers. Sun Peaks Resort LLP even donated the land through a resource use agreement.

Local businesses and organizations who have stepped up include: Gilbert Smith Forest Products, who donated lumber for the planter boxes and cedar chips; The Rotary Club of Sun Peaks; Meranti Developments; Sun Peaks Stables; and Allied Designs, who donated other supplies and labour; and Vertical Cafe, who donated proceeds from their ‘Cookies for a Cause’ fundraiser.

“The Rotary Club also was able to house our funds last year since it was COVID and we couldn’t get a bank account. The biggest thing they provided was the insurance that allowed us to reserve our site,” said Tarasoff.

A $1,500 community grant from the Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Municipality also helped to fund the garden. 

The remaining money will be made from annual rental fees for plots and also raised during the Annual Plant Sale, taking place on May 30 on the village stroll from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The date of the plant sale is a perfect time of the year to start planting seedlings in the alpine location, said Tarasoff.

“Before the end of May, Sun Peaks still gets killer frost. If you plant your plants too early, it can be fatal. We really encourage people to wait until the plant sale so their plants are in the ground at a good time and won’t get hit with frost.” 

If people are interested in securing an eight by four foot plot in the community garden they can email sunpeaksgarden@gmail.com. They will then be sent and instructed to read the community garden bylaws to fully understand what renting a plot consists of.

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