Abbeyfield plants garden plots!

A wonderful article about AVTTS member John Mayba helping Abbeyfield secure money and set up a few garden plots for some veggies.…

Group promotes green thumbs
Michael Briones, Alberni Valley Times
Published: Monday, May 09, 2011
Abbeyfield Port Alberni is developing a green thumb.
The living facility for seniors is building garden boxes that will allow residents to grow vegetables.
In hearing this plan, the Alberni Valley Transition Town Society, a group that’s geared at helping communities reduce its carbon footprint by promoting the creation of a sustainable urban ecosystem, came forward to help Abbeyfield.
“We encouraged them, because they needed money, to apply for a grant to the Alberni Valley Community Foundation,” said John Mayba of the AVTTS. “They received $1,100 to move ahead with their project.”
Mayba, who is also a member of the AVCF, said part of the foundation’s mandate is to support environment issues of sustainability, which made Abbeyfield an ideal candidate for funding. Transition Town endorsed the project because it wanted to educate the public about locally-produced food.
Marlene Dietrich, president of Abbeyfield Houses Alberni Valley Society, said it was residents that suggested they plant vegetables.
“We really want to have fresh carrots and other vegetables on our table,” Dietrich said. “So they came up with the idea of perhaps putting in more of the garden boxes.”
Abbeyfield got some estimates from contractors and decided to hire John Versteeg to build the boxes.
They also asked retired nursery operator Shirley Artes to supervise the whole process.
The plan is to build three garden boxes that will be 182 cm long, 91 cm wide and 91 cm high.
“This will allow residents to reach from either side of the box,” said Dietrich. “They also don’t have to go down on their hands and knees. Anyone with a wheelchair can still work on them.”
Dietrich said the interest in the project is high and she expects to reduce some of Abbeyfield’s food cost.
“The reason why they like growing food is because it’s something they have probably done in the past,” Dietrich said.
“Many of them came from farms and of course in those days everybody had a vegetable garden. So they really like the idea of producing their own food.”
Abbeyfield intends to plant a variety of vegetables.
Dietrich said nursery manager Artes has already started growing lettuce, tomatoes and carrots.

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