After a couple of years of beautiful and warm weather for the Yara Community Gardens Pumpkin Harvest Festival, things were a little cooler and misty this time around, but that didn’t keep folks from stopping by the popular annual event.
A few hundred people filtered through the Grey Street gardens throughout the day Saturday as the celebration of the end of the growing season once again offered a bit of early autumn food and fun.
Visitors had an opportunity to peruse tables filled with a variety of recently harvested produce along with fresh-baked goods and even a hot dog and bowl of chili for a small donation. Youngsters also had stuff to do, including face painting and activity areas as well as a visit from the Moose Jaw Fire Department, who gave tours of their trucks throughout the day.
All in all, another successful capper to the Community Gardens season.
“It’s been really good even if it’s a little cooler,” said Suzanne Ramage, Yara Community Gardens coordinator. “The gardens were really good this year and the gardeners have to donate a portion of their produce to the market here, so some have donated baking and others have had produce and all the proceeds go back to the gardens themselves or Hunger in Moose Jaw.”
With the Moose Jaw Co-op helping out with the chili and hot dogs, even more cash went into the Festival’s coffers, with those funds helping with repairs and maintenance at the two community garden sites in addition to supporting Hunger in Moose Jaw’s food security programs.
The gardens offer members of the community the opportunity to grow produce in a pair of plots, located on South Hill on Home Street West and next to the Bell Park baseball complex on Grey Avenue
“It was dry, but with the heat everything grew really well and we were done really early,” Ramage said. “Everything was finished four weeks earlier than a lot of years, so it still worked out even though it was dry. The water bill will be high, but that’s how it goes.”
The program has proven exceptionally popular in recent years, with all the plots filled each spring and a waiting list for those looking to take over a spot. The next season will begin at the end of March when gardeners can begin fertilizing, after which everything will be roto-tilled in early May and planting will begin soon after.
For more on the Yara Community Gardens and Hunger in Moose Jaw, be sure to visit their website at www.hungerinmoosejaw.org.