Number of community garden spaces growing as interest rises in Langley

Langley Environmental Partners Society will unveil newest garden at Douglas Park in coming weeks

With the sun shining, birds chirping, and spring on the horizon – the seed is being planted in Langley residents’ minds that gardening season is vastly approaching.

While many in the Township have access to sprawling garden land, city dwellers and condo residents who wish to plant, have a harder time finding space.

The community gardens operated Langley Environmental Partners Society (LEPS) have long been a way for people to access areas to grow plants and veggies, but even they are running out of room to house the sprouting interest.

Alexandra Falconer, manager of six gardens in the Township and City, said just about all of them are at max capacity.

“There are currently 15 gardens in Langley and most have a long waiting list,” she said. “There is a great demand for community gardens.”

Douglas Park is home to the newest community garden, which will make its debut at the start of spring; LEPS volunteers are still putting the finishing touches on the space.

“Similar to the Linwood Community Garden, Douglas will have some accessible raised beds to facilitate gardeners with mobility challenges,” Falconer said.

While both Langley City’s gardens, Michaud and Linwood, are at maximum capacity, Douglas still has a few plots available for rent.

Falconer noted that garden plots in the City of Langley are only available for residents of the City.

To keep up with the urban demand, a proposal for a new community garden at Rotary Park has been put forth, and is currently awaiting public input to get the thumbs up.

“If you are interested in having a plot here please contact engineering@langleycity.ca. If there is enough interest, then the City will go ahead with construction,” Falconer explained.

READ MORE: Langleyites get their say about proposed community gardens at Rotary Centennial Park

Though planting season is not quite in full swing, Falconer also said gardeners are welcome to use their plot year-round.

When asked to give advice to anyone thinking about renting a community garden plot for the first time, Falconer said people should take time to plan out what they want to do.

“You can grow quite a bit of produce in a small space so it’s worthwhile to take the time to properly plan out your garden to maximize the amount of food you can grow,” she said.

People can also get their gardens growing by stopping by Seedy Saturday, an annual seed swapping event organized by the LEPS snd Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

Taking place at the Derek Doubleday Arboretum’s Rotary Interpretive Center on Saturday, March 7, vendors including Cedar Rim Nursery, the Desert Plant Society of Vancouver, St Florian Soap Co., and MacInnes Farm will be handing out info and selling local products like eggs and honey.

If anyone has saved seeds from last year, they are welcome to bring them along to trade at the seed swap table.

The event is all free and runs from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Anyone interested in renting a plot at one of the gardens that LEPS manages can email Falconer at projects@leps.bc.ca, call 604-546-0344, or visit http://www.leps.bc.ca/community-gardens for more information.

“Not only do these gardens offer a sense of community to the plot holders, but also provide a connection to the environment,” Falconer said, adding that carrots, tomatoes, and lettuce always seem to be the most popular choices grown in Langley gardens.

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Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

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